Recap: Today was one of my favorite lessons yet. I’m not sure if this was because it was my first science lesson, or because I was just proud of my lesson, but nonetheless it’s one I’ll use again. I had started the lesson off by showing the students where the Protist Kingdom is on the Kingdom of Life diagram and discussing the different characteristics about the types of protists- this was done with fill in the blank follow along notes. After this, I had broken them into groups of 4-5 and had them work through 5 activity sheets. Each sheet contained a picture and “criminal description” that a protist had done, with evidence from the picture and description, the students were required to determine what type of protist it was (cilia, fungus-like, etc.). Following the activity, I had shown them an intro video about the parts and functions of a microscope done through a song performed by Grade 6 students.
Things I liked about the lesson: I really liked the activity I had chosen because was an investigatory approach to teaching. I had provided instruction before this, but this was an activity that required the students to think for themselves and use evidence to prove their reasoning for their answer. I wanted to get this thinking on a higher cognitive level instead of always having the answers and steps to get the answers directly in front of them. It was great to see the students working together as a group and each providing their opinion with supporting evidence. The reason this was so great is because I was able to get the students to think scientifically… by this I mean that not only can they form their own opinion, but they work to have evidence to support why they would think this way. Also, I was very pleased with the noise level of the classroom- although it was louder than a normal group instruction, it was all productive, learning noises.
Things that I would have changed: The things I would have changed about this lesson would be that I handout the notes before starting class; that I make it clear that the different types of protists don’t all look the exact same to my example pictures; however they will all contain the same characteristics per group (especially the cilia); and finally, to better convey the instructions of the activity (that there will be 2 copies of the stations around the room, rotate until you’ve reached them all).