One of the requirements in my state core for science is for students to identify predators and prey. In the past, we've read from our textbook or done a game relating to predators and prey. While these both met the state core requirement it has not "engaged" my students in a way I've enjoyed. This year, I looked at possible online tools that could be used for this core requirement. I decided to use Motivator
from Big Huge Labs
. (As a side note, Big Huge Labs now has an Educator option - removing the ads from the site and providing tools such as the ability to set up student accounts.
My students selected images from either WikiSpecies
or Pictures 4 Learning
. The image was used in Motivator - in the "Title" section, students made a fun title relating to what was seen in the image. In the Motivational Text section, they wrote something to identify if the image was a predator or prey. They also added the URL of the image as another Motivational Text line.
Students printed off their posters and put them in the hallway. They LOVED the assignment - several came in during a break to create a new poster. I was very pleased with how engaged students were (even the child who usually does not like ANY assignment.)
Now I'm considering how Animoto
can be used for students to identify the biotic and abiotic parts of ecosystems. I'm worried it may take too long - but will the result be worth it?
I am interested in hearing ways you think Web 2.0 tools can engage your students and help you teach material required by your core.