With this assignment, students compare the benthic lifestyle and the pelagic lifestyle of ocean creatures. The assignment involves a little kinesthetic aspect using cut and paste, and upper level thinking in collaborative pairs. This is not an assignment for a substitute!
What you'll hear your kids discussing as they work on this:
- Countershading v cryptic coloration
- Fusiform body shape v globular
- High v low metabolic rates
- Lunate tail v rounded or triangular tail
- Fish body colorations, etc
I do this assignment by starting with a whole group discussing covering the similarities between the benthic and pelagic lifestyle. Then I break my kids into cooperative pairs and they complete the contrast section. The contrast section of this concept map requires that the pairs cut out the 21 rectangles containing information, and discuss proper placement for them on their concept map. From there, a simple glue stick makes this all permanent. This concept map has 7 differences for the two categories (Benthic, Pelagic), and 7 main ideas for the differences - making for the 21 rectangles. Students must decide if a difference is specific to pelagic, or benthic, then decide what's the main idea for that difference. I hope this is not overly confusing, but if it is, I've included an answer key. Please see the photos I've included for this assignment.
What I like most about this, is it makes the kids do the thinking and talking, and the teacher walks around as the facilitator. The assignment would likely take one 84 minute block class, or two 'skinny' 46 minute classes.