Spicing up tables: Graphic organizer assignment.


Compare and contrast is a useful activity in Biology; how are organisms similar and how are they unique? But compare and contrast is useful in many other subjects as well! I am excited to share this process assessment (meaning not for marks but for learning) with you (I found them in a box cleaning up the den today). It is one of my all time favorite projects I do with my kids as it never ever ceases to amaze me how unique and creative kids are (and I am not sure we always get a chance to see and celebrate in senior science).

Don’t great me wrong I do love a good table. And tables are one of my own personal fav ways to organize a large amount of info and take ownership of the content. However tables can get a little dry and can be just plain boring! We all need a little spice in our lives.

Students crave creativity and creative souls may feel crushed by the linear-ness of science and math (and I don’t think this should be case, my admitted bias).

I find that less is more in terms of instructions and I don’t show them previous examples as I find it taints their creative souls.

The task is as follows…

Assessment Task: Design a graphic organizer or synthetic model to demonstrate similarities and difference between 7 classes of vertebrates in terms of following characteristics, a) heart chamber, b) respiration, c) fertilization, d) skin, e) skeleton , f) body temperature regulation g) unique or defining feature.

This could be used in any subject or topic where compare and contrast is a useful process. The sky is the limit, I’d love to hear where you think you could use this in your course!

Ta da! Look at the incredible examples! They never cease to amaze me with their ideas!