This is a 2-page Word document with included KEY for a total of 5 pages. This assignment is prefaced by a video by the ever-popular and always hilarious fast-talking Hank Green of Crash Course stardom. The link to the video is in the assignment along with a full-color graphic of the nitrogen cycle. I often have the students write 10 facts about the video while watching it. Hank Green may be a fast-talker, but the students are perfectly capable of writing 10 facts about what they are watching and are so used to my having them write these facts that they just expect it.
This assignment involves reading a paragraph or two on the nitrogen cycle and then answering questions about the reading. No gimmicks or tricks. All of the answers are in the reading, there's no need to search the internet or look up the answers by utilizing another resource. I show the video first, we talk about the nitrogen cycle, then they complete the assignment.
I am a huge proponent of saving paper in the classroom. Therefore, most of my assignments are completed electronically and submitted with a dropbox such as Black Board or Schoology.
In order to create an electronic assignment effectively, I create Word documents without using lines for answers. Trying to type an answer on a line just makes the line shift on the document. So instead of a line, I use two red asterisks (this is so fast and easy to create). The students place their cursor between the two red asterisks and begin typing their answers (or their name, date, etc., wherever they need to type information). This makes it easy for them to see that they’ve answered the question (in red) and I can easily grade the assignment electronically (I’m always looking for the red answers!). I love technology!