This procedure is designed for a 3-day modified block schedule, with (2) 90 minute periods and 1 "skinny" 50-minute period. If you are on a period schedule, it can be easily divided over 5 class period meetings. Overall, this activity should take approximately 1 week of class.
Day 1: Selection and Bird Beak Engineering
Homework before lesson: Have the students watch an EDpuzzle video with questions embedded in the video for homework. You may use this example EDpuzzle video, based on the Bozeman video on Selection, or you may choose any video for your EDpuzzle. As they watch the video, have them create a Venn diagram or comparison/contrast chart on the two types of selection and add it to their notebook.
Before Strategy: (approx. 15 minutes total)
Think, Pair, Share: Break students into pairs for 5 minutes. Have them discuss their Venn diagrams with each other. While they are discussing their Venn diagrams, observe students' answers as you circulate the room. Use the answers that students gave on the EDpuzzle and during their discussion to help direct the class discussion so that any misconceptions are addressed. Ask students general questions about the video and about the types of selection.
If time allows, you can present examples of different types of selection and have students choose whether it is natural or artificial selection. To save time, you can use a program like Kahoot or Plickers to monitor student responses. If a student still isn’t getting it, you may want to work with that student one on one to help him/her gain a better understanding.
State your objective by telling students that today they will be exploring selection in biology by using their engineering skills to create a “bird beak” that is most productive for gathering a variety of foods.
Ask the students, "What does it mean to be 'on fleek?'” Take student responses and post them. After a brief discussion, tell students that the urban dictionary defines “on fleek” as having the perfect appearance or design. Tell the students that they will work in their engineering groups to create a bird beak that will be the most productive in collecting a variety of foods.
(10 minutes) Create a class Know/Need to Know chart. Tell the students that they will be constructing a beak that is most productive at gathering a variety of food. Get students to discuss what they know about the activity. Then, have them discuss what they will need to know. Complete that column of the chart.
Give each engineering group the beak engineering rubric. (Also, give them the collaboration rubric if it has not been used in your classroom prior to this activity.) Give the students time to read the rubric and assess if there are any “need to know” items that were not addressed in the rubric. If there are, have them identify them and ask for clarification. Then, give the students 10-15 minutes (depending on the work speed and skill of your class) to create a design plan for their bird beak. Walk around the room and check each design plan. If the students are missing elements, you can use the rubric to point out the areas where their design may be weak and may need tweaking. You can use this as a formative assessment to give each group room to improve their plan.
After their plan is approved, give the group permission to begin the next phase of the engineering process. Have them construct their beak from their plan in 10-15 minutes. Walk around the room and formatively assess the collaboration of each group during this phase of the process. Point out behaviors that are not acceptable and give positive praise when students are meeting or exceeding expectations.
(30 minutes) Once their beak is constructed, have the students design their engineering test, get it approved by you, test their beak, and record their data. If you are a one-to-one school, you may want to have the students create a Google spreadsheet for their group’s data on Google Drive and share it with you and their group members. Otherwise, it is wise to have the students leave their data with you in case the “data recorder” is missing from the next class.
After: Give the students an exit slip on selection or the engineering process to help close the lesson for the day.
Have the students look at their data. Tell them to brainstorm in their group ways that they could calculate the productivity of their beak for each type of food. After a group discussion, take answers from the whole class. Then, show students how to calculate productivity:
Productivity Formula= # food particles gathered/Given time
Work an example. Then, have them work an example and check it using explicit instruction.
Finally, ask the students how they could create a graph to visually represent the productivity of their beak for various types of food. Which type of graph would be BEST? Why?
Then, have students construct a graph of their productivity. If you are using Google drive, they can create a digital graph using information from their data spreadsheet. If not, have them create the graph on paper. Then, discuss the general beak types of birds and their specialties. Which beak type best fits your beak design? Did you find that your beak was best adapted for its predicted specialty food? (25 minutes)
During: Argument-Driven Inquiry
Then, ask the students how they could use their “bird beak” and other “bird beaks” to see if their bird is well adapted for survival when different types of food are limited.
1. Identify the guiding question: Tell the students that they will be designing an experiment to answer the following question: Which bird is best adapted for survival when food resources are limited?
2. Design an experiment and collect data: Give students constraints: They can use their engineered bird beak, tweezer beaks, spoon beaks, chopsticks, scissor beaks, etc. Also, put constraints on the foods that they will need to use. Be sure to choose foods with a variety of sizes and shapes to test the versatility of the beak. Have the students write up an experiment design to test their beak. If needed, you may use one of the blank forms found on www.argumentdriveninquiry.com. Each group must get their design approved by the teacher before they can move to the experiment phase.
3. Analyze the data and create a claim (argument) that answers the question. The students will analyze their data by using productivity of each beak and complete their group presentation on chart paper using the following format:
4. Round Robin Presentations: The students will hang their chart on the wall and use it to present their claim to a peer audience. Number each member of the group as a 1, 2, 3, or 4. You can decide which number presents FIRST. For example, for the first rotation, the ones will present their data. The other group members will rotate 1 station to do a peer evaluation of the information presented. They will use the CER rubric as their guide to make suggestions or point out fallacies that may be occurring in the presented claim. The peer audience’s job is to ask questions to help the presenter. For the next rotation, the 2’s may present. The 1’s will join their group to listen to the other groups presenting. A presentation should only last 5 minutes.
After analyzing the peer review for their claim, evidence, and reasoning during the round robin presentations, each student will do a formal writing, either using the CER Short Writing form handout OR by writing their own individual report.