Dave’s right…..having students blog about their learning was really effective. Real time documentation of their learning seemed to be much more realistic and doable for them–they didn’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about what to write; as soon as they learned something about energy, they blogged what they learned. Simple, not overwhelming to those who don’t like to write.
But there is so much more to tell you about this unit…..
Here Dave shared what we did in our Conservation of Energy unit. It’s worth a look if you teach about renewable/non-renewable energies. The game we used, Electrocity, is a free web-based game that allows students to be mayors of their own cities. Their goal is, like any real mayor, to grow the city and keep the residents happy. Students must ensure citizens have enough electricity by building energy plants. There are many choices: hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants, coal mines, etc. How to decide? It’s built right into the game! Pros and cons are posted within each choice, allowing students to make informed decisions and learn more about each form of energy.
Next steps were having students develop inquiry questions based on whatever energy sources sparked their interest. Then, they went down their own learning path. Finally, they shared their learning with the rest of the class.
Feedback was that students enjoyed it. They didn’t feel like they were being forced to learn and they liked that the learning was built right into the game. They cheered when it was Electrocity time….how’s that for engagement!
I will definitely use Electrocity again next year.