Step 1: Build the Ecosystem
A challenge came from Quynh Tu, our 6th Grade Science teacher. She has a great organisms and ecosystems project that she wants to move from a poster-based product to an iPad-based one. As she describes it, the students have to create two organisms and describe them individually. Part of the description is the ecosystem in which they live and how they are adapted to it. The second level is that the organisms have to interact in some way (e.g. symbiotic, cooperative, parasitic). In the past, students have drawn their organisms out and labeled things on a poster. She’d like two main things to come out of “iPad-izing” the project:
- Students can narrate the project, making them verbalize and expand their answers past the simpler poster labels, and
- Students draw the ecosystem as well as the creatures, so that they have to describe more about the ecosystem’s effect on the creatures. She felt like this has gotten short shrift in the past.
I’ve broken this project down into three distinct stages, each with their own goals and tools:
- Build the Ecosystem
- Build the Organisms
- Assemble the Presentation/Movie
In this post, we’ll start with Step 1: Building the Ecosystem. To the lab!