Here’s a lesson idea that would fit best at middle school and higher levels, but could fit anywhere. It is the type of lesson that would fit perfectly into interactive Augmented Reality (AR)/3D teaching and learning. The concepts could cover science and math, reading, language arts and writing, as well as individual and group activities—all in engaging, interesting and collaborative ways. And, it could involve book(s)/eReaders, software especially designed for whiteboards and other interactive devices.
Goal: To provide the method and resources for students to experience brilliant, real life challenges, where students are scientists, and at the same time provide the newest interactive teaching opportunities for educators. Learning will meet reading/writing and math common core standards, including the use of technology for backing up research. In all, the students are scientists.
Specifics: This discovery/experiential lesson will use interactive hardware (white board solutions and other appropriate interactive devices) software/Internet places, books, eReaders, and 3D technologies to as closely duplicate the real life discovery and identification of animal skulls and bones, using the scientific method (steps and procedures), blended learning, technology and Web 2.0 skills.
Note: The depth and level of all resources can be adjusted, but using AR/3D for this and similar lessons should be the destination. Therefore I will refer to AR/3D throughout.
- Students will discover animal skeletal, partial remains, and skulls. A great deal can be discovered from animal skulls. Check this URL: http://www.d91.k12.id.us/skyline/science/zoology/skulls.htm
- There’s plenty of information on appearance and measurement to help with creation of cards and resources within and beyond.
- Students will identify animals from skeletal remains and skulls using science, math, language arts, reading, research, collaboration, and 21st century communication skills.
- Students will prepare, measure, compare, as well as question experts to help identify the animal and articulate the bones.
- Students will keep science notebook journals, use the science method, read, listen, build vocabulary, draw, use digital imaging, view research, use secure e-mail as well as social media platforms to extend resource options.
- Students will be assessed throughout the exploration, and finally with an assessment that asks them to solve for mystery bones/skulls and identify an animal using similar already practiced procedures.
- Quick reference AR cards or 3D software—as well as print and online resources
- Software: This could be local computer, interactive white board, and use of 3D/AR
- Online resources: Combination of local, Web places and resources.
- eReader: There are an abundance of eReaders, as well as traditional book opportunities, here. Animal related, science, research, fiction and non-fiction.
- Bone/Skull Replicas can be expensive. That’s where AR can come to the rescue through 3D cards/software and video. It makes sense to do AR/3D, where bones, skulls and skeletal remains can be realistically presented—full-sized and interactive on an interactive board. Note: Offering a few replicas to hold, measure and articulate can be supplemental for enhancing discovery for the student scientists, but AR/3D can work nicely, and provide lessons like this more universally.
- Podcast/Audio resources: There should be an abundance of clues, and helpful resources in all media styles. Student should also have the ability to create their own to add to the discovery files—taking advantage of all technology and media.
- Video resources: Experts talking to the class would be one possibility, but student produced video should be part of the scientific discovery journals, lab pages, and portfolios.
- Blog or lab posts: There needs to be a place for daily blog-style lab posts, so students can share discoveries with other class members, and quite possibly with other classes—local or globally.
- Students can create characters, where they play the roles of Experts answering e-mail, as well as audio, video, and social media to give added excitement and realism to the discoveries. These characters can also be a mix of real experts, along with the fictional ones—designed to help lead the way.
Character development and involvement:
- Character Example 1: Two museum scientists studying animals in Alaska—scenario could be that they read student e-mails with images of the bones and measurement and suggest possible solutions for students to check. Furthermore, they could send a box of bones they have collected—and they request the students help them solve what the animal is.
- Character Example 2: Through e-mails, students discover a scientist in Northern England working on a discovery of Roman tiles, but he also has expertise in animals and anatomy, as well as an Internet site with animal skulls, bones, and their measurements. He helps the students with suggestions, but also shares something about the history he is uncovering.
- Character Example 3: Students receive e-mails from students in a high school zoology class working through similar animal discovery investigations. The classes and teachers collaborate with blogs/drop box clues/collective suggestions—including references.