Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Have Food, Will Travel (2 of 3) - Section 2: EXPLAIN: Food transport


This year I have experimented with college style lectures to support my usual focus on student-driven problem-based learning.  My rationale for this move is to provide an opportunity for my students to practice extracting information, summarizing main ideas, questioning conclusions, developing arguments, and learning from models of effective presentations.  My purpose is not to give my students a preview of academic life after high school.  Rather, I frame the lectures as a "performed text" subject to the same rules of engagement as any written document.  My idea is that students need practice with speaking and listening; they need to understand the "grammar" of public dialogue.  This lecture is not simply a quick way to communicate information.  It is, at heart, a way of communicating about communication.    

There is no perfect strategy for supporting diverse student needs during a lecture.  I bias my supports towards active engagement using the types of supports I use for text annotation activities.  I will, for instance, use protocols similar to "What? So what? Now what?" for students that can handle open-ended analyses.  I use guiding questions and graphic organizers for students that need more explicit instruction.  Compliant note-taking is not the goal.  I want my students to grapple with meaning.  I do not want my students to mindlessly transcribe information from the board to a piece of paper.  And I do not want my students to come away from a lecture without reflecting on what worked and what failed.  This is a building block for self-assessment.  My teacher did this and I really like it.  I don't do that at all.  During my next presentation I will try it.  When students understand that lectures are an opportunity to learn information and also learn about how to convey information, they can develop their content knowledge and presentation skillset.   

  College in the classroom
  Adjustments to Practice: College in the classroom
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Have Food, Will Travel (2 of 3)

Unit 5: Food (biosphere and geosphere)
Lesson 2 of 24

Objective: Students will be able to: 1) map the pathways of commonly eaten foods in New York; and 2) calculate the hidden costs of food, such as greenhouse gases and energy use.

Big Idea: The food consumed during a typical New York City dinner may have traveled over 10,000 cumulative miles. How might we use our understanding of the costs and benefits of global food distribution to identify aspects of the food system to redesign?

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3 teachers like this lesson
Science, human impact, Food miles, engineering design thinking
  55 minutes
food miles
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