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Lesson Plan Redesign Format

Eight Rearrangable Steps

  1. Type of reasoning the student will do: (historical, biological,etc...)

  2. What is the issue/problem focus?(What are bacteria?)

  3. What is the logic of student thinking? How will you capture their interest? (ask these questions)


    1. Is it better to kiss your girlfriendís on the lips or lick her armpit?
    2. Why donít you have to plow your way through road kill to get to school?
    3. Where does your breakfast come from, really?!
    4. What do a bottle of wine, cheese and a compost heap have in common?
    5. How do we digest food?
    6. How are vaccines made? (This immediately follows virus unit.)

  4. What grouping arrangements will you use?

    There will be six groups, each being designated to research and present answers to these questions (focusing on the role of bacteria in each of these topics - pathogenicity, decomposition, nitrogen cycle, primary producers, fermentation, symbiosis and genetic engineering)

  5. What sequence will the lesson follow? Which groups will go when? 1 group, 6 groups, individuals, 1 group:

    Initially, I begin with a whole-class Socratic discussion to discover what we already do know about bacteria. With careful questioning, these six topics(and perhaps one or two more) can be extracted from the class. We thus discover we know a little about bacteria already, but will break up into groups to delve more deeply. The six groups will then disburse to research on their own until their presentations are prepared. Individual accountability is accomplished within the groups and within the class by the measures listed under "tactics". Closure is reached in a return to the whole-class format where we ascertain whether bacteria are actually friend or for to man and, of course, why. Finally we pick out which items about bacteria are necessary and relevant for us, as individuals, to retain for the rest of out lives.

  6. What mode of communication will the students be using? Speaking, listening, reading, writing....

  7. What tactics will you use to keep things running?

    During the initial questioning session, students will have to rephrase what other students say to make sure that everyone understands what is going on. Students will be called on randomly, using shuffled index cards with names. It keeps them on their toes. During group work, students will not know until the moment of presentation which student will be called upon to do which part of the presentation. This way, each student is accountable for each portion as designated in the presentation guidelines. During the presentation, students in the audience will persistently be called upon to rephrase what they have just heard to be sure of clarity of presentation and ensure attentiveness. Students will be given assignments based on what they have heard during the presentations and will be required to do the work over if it isnít satisfactory, etc...


  8. What are the criteria and standards you will institute for this lesson? Clarity, precision, relevance, accuracy, significance, verifiability, etc.


Article Highlights

Engaging students to think deeply about content
Five Aspects used to Assess Results
How to teach students to read actively and analytically
Critical thinking as an integral part of teaching


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