Overview

Students are assigned to groups and presented with a take-home reading assignment on the transformation of matter and energy by living organisms (biogeochemical cycles). Based upon their groups, students individually answer one question in a multiquestion assignment.

In class, students work within their groups to compare, discuss and analyze one another's answers, forming a consensus on the correct answer and transcribing it onto an interactive white board.

Groups then move from board-to-board, evaluating and commenting on the other groups' solutions to related problems (gallery walk and peer review). Following this, groups evaluate whether to include/exclude the feedback provided by ...

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Students are assigned to groups and presented with a take-home reading assignment on the transformation of matter and energy by living organisms (biogeochemical cycles). Based upon their groups, students individually answer one question in a multiquestion assignment.

In class, students work within their groups to compare, discuss and analyze one another's answers, forming a consensus on the correct answer and transcribing it onto an interactive white board.

Groups then move from board-to-board, evaluating and commenting on the other groups' solutions to related problems (gallery walk and peer review). Following this, groups evaluate whether to include/exclude the feedback provided by their classmates in reformulating the answer to their assigned question.

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Objectives

Students will compare and contrast energy transformation and nutrients cycling, at cellular and the ecosystem levels. Students will describe the differences between nutrient cycling and energy flow and how trophic levels interact in an ecosystem. Students will predict the impact of a human activity on an ecosystem.

Context and requirements

Level Grade 10-Grade 11, Grade 12-U0
Discipline Biology
Activity Content Biogeochemical cycles, energy, matter and nutrients_
Technological Requirements Whiteboards or interactive whiteboards.
Best Use Practice, Review

Author’s Notes

Benefits

Each student becomes an “expert” on all of the questions, but must only spend the time to complete one. Students learn to evaluate each others responses and provide helpful, respectful feedback.

Challenges

Some students become protective of their answers, whereas others readily incorporate comments.

Tips

SMART boards are useful in completing the activity, however it can be adapted to whiteboards.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Problem Solving

INDIVIDUALLY, students complete a reading and problem assignment on the biogeochemical cycles of matter. INDIVIDUALLY, they respond to one problem on the assignment OUT OF CLASS. The problem students complete is determined by the pre-assigned group they have been assigned to.

Gallery Walk

Working in their pre-assigned GROUPS, students compare and analyze their solutions with their respective group members. Ultimately, the group reaches a consensus on the correct answer and transcribe it onto the interactive white board. Students circulate around the class, examining the work posted by other groups (onto interactive white boards). At each interactive white board, groups evaluate and annotate (peer review) the work completed by their classmates. This task is completed IN CLASS.

Revision

GROUPS of students return to their original problem/interactive white board. Each group evaluates the feedback provided by their classmates, modifying/reformulating their answer as needed. This task is completed IN CLASS.

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