Thursday, January 7, 2010

Body Systems

Fifth graders in our district learn about the different body systems. One brilliant and innovative teacher I know has decided to use Dr. Kathie Nunley's Layered Curriculum concept to teach the unit.

Layered Curriculum is an effective differentiated teaching method that fosters complex and creative thinking while holding students accountable for their learning.

Students work through and demonstrate 3 levels of understanding. The acquisition of basic knowledge happens during the the first part of the unit or the "C" layer. Students then move on to the "B" layer and apply what they learned in a variety of ways. "A" level tasks require students to synthesize information and form and defend opinions.

One of the things I love about Layered Curriculum is choice. At each level there are a variety of assignment options. I've compiled a list of online activities that I think would work well in a layered unit plan for body systems.

Body Systems Podcast C level Basic Knowledge
In a nutshell: Students from Mr. Coley's 5th grade classroom share information about the different kinds of human body systems.

Build Arnold's Body C Level Basic Knowlege
In a nutshell: The object of the game is to get the right organs in the right system.

Fun With Mummies B Level Application
In a nutshell: This amazing interactive website guides you through the steps of preparing a mummy for burial. Students will be interested to learn to learn all that had to be done to each body.

Blood Drive A Level Critical Thinking and Analysis
In a nutshell: In this activity, students are in charge of a organizing a school blood drive.
They design a flyer that explains the process and importance of blood donation to the community.

Virtual Knee and Hip Replacement: A level Critical Thinking and Analysis
In a nutshell: Amazing site! Students take on the role of surgeon throughout a hip or knee replacement surgery.

A 15 minute video, "How Do I Begin Layered Curriculum?" is available on the Layered Curriculum site. There is also a collection of lesson plans that teachers may find helpful.

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