Do you want students to deeply understand the scientific process? They need practice. Incorporate it into all of your content throughout the year. To avoid monotony, I use these mini-poster headings as a creative way for students to share results.
Need a change from the traditional lab write-up? Using these headings, students can create mini-posters that they can then present and defend in a poster session using peer review. Large trifold poster boards tend to be intense and time consuming. This mini-poster design will allow students to use two manila folders as their "trifold" with poster headings and sticky notes containing information for each section. Using sticky notes allows you to reuse the mini trifold and headings over and over again. One challenge I have with lab reports is that students want to write a novel. They often feel more is better. In the mini-poster, the small space will challenge students to determine exactly which information is important and focus more on brevity. Posters can be made individually or in groups. Using a simple rubric (provided for you as another FREEBIE: Scientific Lab Report Rubric
), students can participate in peer review. Students love presenting their original work to their classmates. I generally do grade their posters myself (using the same rubric), but I allow them time to revise after the peer review before final submission.
In addition to using these headers for mini-posters, I have a few cut up and laminated copies of the headings always available for students to use quickly in an experiment. They often lay them out on a lab table and place sticky notes on the tables. We have also used them on the walls or whiteboard. They’ve come in quite handy in helping to instill great science process skills in the kids. Eventually, this becomes second nature. The included prompts on each heading help remind students what is needed in each section. Eventually, after much practice, these prompts will not be needed.
How to assemble the mini-poster:
Using two manila folders, trim off the tabs and glue them so that one panel from each overlap. You can glue on the mini-poster headings.
Headers are provided for print in color or black and white. They are designed as thin strips so that when cut up, they fit within the folder dimensions and won’t take away from the limited space.
These can be used in many ways. Feel free to get creative!
Additional materials needed: manila folders, sticky notes