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!