After watching this decomposing elephant video I was inspired to brainstorm some science lesson plans involving time-lapse photography that I could do. One could really do this with any grade and with any subject, but I’ll focus on sciencey topics. :)
These could be done by groups or individuals. The only necessary step is to have your students take a photo consistently every time they plan to (have them write something on the lines of a science-action-plan at least, if not a full science report covering all scientific method and procedure).
Logistics: Set up would be easy. As simple or complex as you would want it or have the resources for. I’m thinking having one camera set up on a tripod in one location in the room. Students would bring their experiment or subject to where the camera is always focused to. Place it on an X facing a certain direction and viola!
Teacher Input: You’d have to either teach your students how to create this time-lapse video themselves using their raw photos that you give to them. Or you could make them all yourself using their photos. Really it all depends on how tech-savvy your school is (computer labs anyone?) and not to mention your students.
Outcomes: This could be linked to tons of science standards no doubt—of course all depending on how involved you want to make it. If anything students would be learning general themes in: technology, visual expression of data, and scientific observation.
This could also be a supplemental activity to go along with another project.
Examples I’ve gleaned from the internet: So if your unit is on food you could have students grab an apple or a tomato. Or if you’re growing plants you could have them take pictures from seed to plant to even flower! Or are you growing bacteria in a petri dish—document its growth! Or weather? Clouds? Or the seasons even?
A grad student, Erin DiMaggio, at Arizona State University is creating lesson plans/resources for very current Earth Science related natural disasters at SciNEWS that your students might be hearing about on the news or even be experiencing. Each lesson, or informative talk, is specific to a current event. They are more for discussion that anything, but I gets me thinking in a broader context.
Lesson planning for current events is an interesting concept that I feel many teachers do not value when lesson planning. That is, bringing the most current up-to-date information and situations to their lessons in order to make the most impact and bring the most value to their students’ learning. As the experience of learning is so much hinged on the ability to relate to the world around us. And when I saw the world around us in the context of the classroom, I mean the current collective radar of the media. This framework for lesson planning is really cool and should be taken more to heart. Not to mention how important this type of lesson planning is in our ever changing fields of the sciences.
So, ditch that 4-year-old lesson plan that you’ve got memorized and spice it up a bit with some real current events that your students might actually be able to relate to.
More info @ SciNEWS
How do you incorporate current events into your lesson planning?
It would be fun to collaborate!
More info: Scitable