Over second quarter, my class worked on seven lessons provided by Maricopa County called Up in the Air: An Air Pollution Education Program. These lessons included many of the characteristics of the Renzulli Scales including creativity, leadership, communication, planning, mathematics, reading, and science. This quarter we focused on the human body, so this fit in nicely with the lungs portion. The culminating lesson was to choose a project from this menu.
I was pleasantly surprised with the variety in which my students chose. They had the option to work independently or in groups of two or three. They then presented their final product to the rest of the class. Here are a few examples.
Picture Book (Artistic):
Play or Skit (Dramatics):
Power Point (Technology):
Song (Musical): Two students asked if they could write a song. One student is focusing on the music and the other, the lyrics.
How did this foster critical thinking, choice, interest, differentiated learning?
The lessons definitely fostered critical thinking. In one lesson, students had to decide if air takes up space. They were given straws and ziplock bags and asked to raise a book off the desk without using their hands. A couple groups figured it out!
They also investigated how pollution disperses in the air using water and food coloring.
One of the final investigation was to play and card game that instructed them to add or subtract “common air pollutants” into a cup of water.
Although the lessons themselves were not differentiated for interest or choice, the final project was both of these things.
For educators teaching in Maricopa county, I would highly recommend this education program. It includes well written lesson plans and all of the necessary materials. At the end of the unit, a representative from Maricopa comes to your school and teaches a lesson. My class loved this! Did I mention all of this is FREE?!
What is a favorite in your classroom to share learning?