A Delightful Student-Led Learning Journey to End the Year

By
Kim O'Bray

Editor's Note: We are so in love with Kim O'Bray's student-led project. After reading about tardigrades in a Scope infographic, Kim's students became fascinated by these microscopic critters. (We totally get why—tardigrades can survive 10 years without food or water!) So Kim turned her students' interest into an opportunity to do independent research and a creative project. We think this is a great activity for the end of the school year.

 

 

None of us had ever heard of a tardigrade before we read the infographic "The Amazing Tardigrade" in Scope (September 2015). After completing their contest entries (writing paragraphs arguing that the tardigrade should be the school mascot), my students were clamoring to find out more about this curious creature. So, I grabbed the opportunity and had them do independent research on the tardigrade. They were tasked with discovering anything and everything about tardigrades and then presenting their findings to the class in a creative way. Some students worked alone while others worked in groups, but they all came up with inventive ways to present their research.

 

What you'll need
Any Scope infographic that sparks students' curiosity, such as "The Amazing Tardigrade" or "The Monster King" (That one's all about roaches. Eek!)

Skills
speaking, listening, independent research, using multiple mediums to visually express information

Time
1-2 class periods (time out of class to create presentations will vary)

 

 

Tardigrade Fiction

Several students wrote fiction stories about the tardigrade and even illustrated them.

 

 

Tardigrade Superhero

Some students created comics featuring the tardigrade as a crime-fighting superhero.

 

 

3-D Tardigrade

One group made a 3-D model of a tardigrade using a pillowcase for the body and attaching index cards with factoids to each of the tardigrade's many feet. This model hung in my classroom all year long!

 

 

Have your own creative end-of-year project ideas? Tell us about them in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim O’Bray teaches reading to 6th, 7th, and 8th-graders at Pittsburg Community Middle School in Pittsburg, Kansas.

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