Insects: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Grade 6-8 Life Science Project
Learners become entomologists and investigate insects from the twin human perspectives of benefit and hazard. You may want to print this page as you view the entire Insects: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Project.
Learners use ICT to gather information and create a multimedia presentation allowing them to share their learning with a wider audience.
Higher-Order Thinking Skills
After collecting information about insects, learners synthesize information to understand that insect from a different perspective. Learners take knowledge of what they have learned from their research and apply it to the creation of a field guide and multimedia presentation. Classroom discussions lead to higher levels of thinking prompted with Curriculum-Aligned Questions. A field journal encourages investigative thinking throughout the project.
Varied Teaching and Learning Strategies.
- Prior Knowledge: Prior knowledge is assessed at the beginning of the project with a questioning session to get learners thinking about insects. To provide a preliminary study of insects the class complets the Earthlife Insect Quiz* and consider the questions together. Learners collect, a variety of insects to bring to class.
- Graphic Organizers: Visual organizers are incorporated throughout the project. Learners do an observational study, using the square of life handout. A storyboard planning sheet helps learners with the design of their multimedia presentation.
- Cooperative Grouping: Learners work in collaborative teams and discuss the Focus Question. Cooperative teams work together to offer peer feedback on their work.
- Peer and Teacher Feedback: Teachers meet with learners for discussions to give specific, individual feedback as they are researching their insects. Rubrics communicate progress when final products are assessed. Learners exchange feedback when they share drafts of their field journal writing.
- Recognition: Learners get recognition through the publication of their work. Learner slideshows are shared with other classes, parents, and invited guests through a showcase. The learner’s follow-up paragraphs and reflections are viewed by parents and other classmates as portfolio pieces.
- Questioning: Discussion of Focus and Content Questions provides questioning throughout the project. As learners fill out the field journal they are repeatedly encouraged to reflect, What do you know?, What do you want to know?, What did you learn? further probing them to think at higher levels.
- Modelling: The teacher models the research steps and presents models for exemplary work with a learner sample presentation and field journal.
- Classroom Management: The learners use computer templates and storyboard planners to create their field journal and multimedia presentations. This allows for quick and easy assembly
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