I did two mini lessons with my students that incorporated the use of technology. We went on the Science Channel website and visited two interactive demos and games. This allowed my students to ask questions, use models, plan, analyze, and carry out investigations, and obtain, evaluate and communicate information.
The first activity we did was Newton's Laws. We reviewed vocabulary in the glossary first, then read his bio together to learn more about his background. Then we watched the interactive video describing his laws and students took notes to put the laws in their own words and give examples. Then we did the quiz to check for understanding.
The second activity we did was related to Charles Darwin. We also looked over the vocabulary words in the glossary first, read his bio to learn more about him and identify what they knew about him already. Then we played the survivor game. This interactive game allowed them to pick a species and choose their characteristics and see if the species would survive. This encouraged them to have a discussion about genetics and Darwin's theories and in playing the game we lost and had to go back and choose different characteristics to survive the environment.
These activities were just a spring board to learning more about these topics but I liked that we were able to interact with the content and at least have a brief introduction to the names and topics and big ideas they might come across for the GED test.
Thanks for posting your lesson. It reminded me of two things. One is the importance of explicit instruction of vocabulary (an idea supported by the reading research) and the second is learning about science (and math, engineering, technology) through history. Is that something you usually do? How do you think it helps students?
And, I was wondering if that is something that other teachers do. Anyone have a favorite historical perspective on a science topic they can share?
Now, I'm heading out to view Newton's Laws.
(And, Vanessa, did you notice that almost 300 people viewed your post!)
How did students make their decisions when choosing their species and characteristics?