Activities in Life Science Class
In life science class, teachers aimed to stimulate students’ interests and guide them to dig deeper in understanding that essential knowledge for helping them have a better cognitive development. In the teaching process, teachers have designed many activities for students to brainstorm, while also improving students’ practical abilities.
Let’s see an interesting project from this semester. The concrete work is to make a poster of ancient animals from various eras and have a presentation to introduce the ancient animals they have chosen. The assessment aims to examine students’ knowledge of earth’s ancient past and their ability to express themselves in English. The rubric is included in the second file down below.
In groups of three or four students, they choose a geological period and three kinds of organisms from that period to study. One group chose animals such as blue whales and Bombay elephants from the Cenozoic era. The reason for their selection was that the Cenozoic era was the closest to modern times, and many animals had not yet gone extinct, so there was plenty of data to study. Another group chose ancient fish, saying mysterious ancient creatures were more attractive, while another group chose plants, microbes, and so on.
The division of labor of each group member is clear. After the task is determined, the students are in full bloom to work, some are responsible for drawing, some are responsible for looking up information, and some is responsible for making PPT. We show their strengths, in cooperation and discussion to learn knowledge happily.
Let’s look at another project on the soil. Students first build models of soil erosion and then brainstorm ways to protect the soil based on what they have learned. In the experiment, students first guessed the causes of soil erosion through common sense and then spent a week designing and perfecting their solutions.
In this science project, students will be able to create a model to simulate the process of soil erosion and find ways to prevent it. In the beginning, students need to make a common hypothesis about how soil erosion happened. Then they need to create their initial design. Students have one week to finish their model. Later on, students will have a presentation to exhibit their model to show how it works.
In addition to this knowledge about geography, our life Science courses also cover various parts of the body. For example, we studied the function and structure of the human eye and some diseases this semester. The teacher also made some projects for the students. In class, students made many eye models, PPT, and posters to show different eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, presbyopia, and so on.
After the teacher assigned the task, the students also had a clear division of labor.Please look at this sheet. There are three members in this group, namely Mae, Jacob and Mary. Mae is the model designer; Jacob is a PPT producer; Mary is an information gatherer. Their theme is color blindness.
In addition to this group, of course, we have other groups that do different eye models and disease presentations.
During the achievement demonstration, students shared the knowledge they summarized and mastered with each other, from which teachers could inspect students’ cognition of professional knowledge. Students’ scientific learning ability, group cooperation ability, and English ability were also improved.
These projects are designed around the Curriculum standards of American high schools. Students find each project both interesting and challenging. Unconsciously, students begin to acquire basic scientific literacy such as experiment, analysis and summary, which lays a solid foundation for their future study and research.