Here is a short internet project to get students engaged in systems thinking, a cross-cutting concept for NGSS. Using the short film (~3 minutes) about Cats in Borneo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17BP9n6g1F0 ), this activity asks students to create a Voki (talking avatar) OR a set of three trading cards.
The focus of the Voki is on inputs and outputs of the system while the trading cards focus on the parts of the system and their functions. The Voki and Trading Cards are generated by students on-line using free internet resources that do not require the creation of an account or log-in.
Lastly, students will be directed on how to create a 4 slide PowerPoint for turning this assignment in for credit.
Students can either choose which assignment that they want to do, or as the teacher you can pair students up and have each partner do one of the assignments. Additionally, you can always allow the option to do both assignments. (extra credit?) Middle school students really enjoy making talking avatar's and trading cards. This activity would be most easily implemented in a one-to-one environment, but can also be incorporated over 1 or 2 class periods in the computer lab.
This "systems thinking" activity can be incorporated into a wide variety of units.
Provided in this assignment:
*Student directions, product description, focus and URL links.
*Detailed product requirements
*Snips of the fields to complete on-line to provide greater clarity.
*Directions on the creation of the PowerPoint to turn in to the teacher.
*Simple (editable) grading rubric.