Fall Semester Favorites 2011

Before winter break I polled my students on their mid-term. I found out their favorite activities, topics and stories from this semester.

Life Science

  • Sponge-Bob Genetics: For this activity we used Sponge-Bob characters in order to find out how we get different traits. I found some work-sheets that explained Punnet Squares. At the end of the week students made posters of their characters.
SpongeBob Genetics: A Korean Cartoon Character
  • Cell City: We also studied the parts of cells. We compared the organelles to items in a city. Students then chose from three tasks and created a cell city. They could build a model city, draw or write a descriptive essay.
Cell City - One of the posters from the project.
  • Alien Classification: For our last unit of the semester we studied Taxonomy and the classification of living organisms. In order for students to better understand I had them come up with a way to classify aliens. I found a great file online that had cards for various aliens. Students were paired. Each pair received a set of cards and had to come up with the best way to sort or classify the aliens.

Earth Science:

  • Tornado Race: During our climate and weather unit we held a tornado race tournament. I had two large buckets of water and two-liter bottles. Students paired off and raced their partner to see who could empty their bottle the quickest while creating a tornado. We then discussed why this worked and how that relates to the formation of actual tornadoes.
  • Measuring Raindrops: My classroom is on the fourth floor of our school building. When we were studying rain my students wanted to know if height made raindrops larger or smaller. One day we dyed water blue with food coloring. We thin dropped the water from each floor onto a large sheet of paper. Half of the students dropped the blue water and half recorded the floor on the paper below.

Physical Science:

  • Roller-coaster Project: We were studying motion, acceleration, potential and kinetic energy. On a lab day students were given 4 ft. of heavy gauge wire and a nut (from a bolt). They had to create a roller-coaster and describe the motion, acceleration, potential and kinetic energy.
  • Bouncy Balls of Energy: When we studied gravity we used various types of sports balls and recorded the height of their bounce from certain levels. Students then had to decide what made certain balls bounce and whether the amount of force mattered, etc.


  • Behind the Scenes Project: At the beginning of drama class we talked about how drama is more than acting. We discussed the several behind the scenes jobs. Students then had to choose a play and a job. They completed tasks based on the job and play chosen.

    We've got Our Characters in the Bag!


  • The Tell-tale Heart Case Files: As an alternative writing assignment students created a case-file in order to prove the narrators guilt or innocence.
A Picture from one of the Case Files
  • Poetry in Song: I used Tracee Ormans “Firework” activity from TpT. Students then had to choose a song and pin-point all of the figurative language in that song

2 thoughts on “Fall Semester Favorites 2011

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