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Driving Question: 

How is the ocean a driving force for weather and climate?

Grade 8

Students are given a topic about climate systems and are charged with creating an interactive model to use to explain to an audience of 6-year-old students. Students first investigate and research the concepts such as surface currents, deep currents, upwelling, and the global conveyor belt. Students examine materials to use to create their interactive model, and then draw and explain their ideas on paper. They check the accuracy of their model with the teacher and advice as needed. Students also visit an elementary classroom to observe 6-year-olds in a learning environment. They share their observations and develop a class rubric to assess learning. Students then present to their peers for feedback and improve their work. Finally, students take turns presenting their lessons to a small group of 6-year-olds as well as watching other teams in action.  

Student Reflection

"The best part was getting to see the faces of students when they saw something cool that interested them. The most challenging part was keeping their focus I learned that you really have to bring the content to the extreme basics, and connecting it to real world was important." - Harriette. 

"The students were cute. Your really have to know the concepts because you have to answer their questions. You have to interact with other human beings, and that helped me know, and think outside of your own mind. The hardest part was time limit. It was only 8 minutes and we couldn't cover everything. We didn't get to dig deeper or check for understanding." - Jacquelyn

"The best part was seeing how the kidssinteracted with it and whether or not they enjoyed it. The hardest part wasmaking it simple enough for them to understand and retain the knowledge." - Aaron

"The best part was when we answered their questions and being surprised about what they learned. The most challenging part was keeping them both focused and entertained." - Warren

Student Products
  • Research to understand a topic and identify the big ideas
  • Formulate a plan to create an interactive model of ocean activity 
  • Observe a 6-year-old learning environment and develop a class rubric for assessment purposes. 
  • Evaluate and revise designs and presentation
  • Present to a group of 6-year-old students
Teacher Reflection

"The "Teaching 6-year-old”  was an extraordinary experience for our 8th grades.  They were excited, they were nervous, they were surprised.  Even though our students had the opportunity to observe 6 year olds in action in their learning environment, teaching them proved to be challenging.  The ability to think on their feet was crucial and be ready to change your lesson plans at a moment’s notice was imperative.  For the future, it would be beneficial if students had an extra opportunity of teaching the 6 year olds.   So perhaps two sessions of teaching them could be incorporated into the unit." - Ruby Hundley and Nola Heckman


Nola Heckman

Ruby Hundley