I received one of the best, unintended compliments ever. In reflecting on our upper level, heavily defined curriculum course, I asked a student how class was going. She said she had just been talking to her friends about how applicable this class was to her life. I think my jaw dropped. I was not expecting “applicable” to be the answer, and yet, it was the best news I had heard in a while.
One of my goals in teaching is to bring the content to life by creating opportunities for students to see the real-life connections and current need for the information presented. To this end, I am often rebuilding units, finding new resources, and creating lessons. To hear the student respond that she valued the applicability of this class, she recognized how the content we were covering connected to her life, made all of the work worth it.
My goal in this blog has been to help other teachers. If you struggle to find ways to connect your content or lesson to here and now, please reach out. I want to help. To that end, below are a few screenshots of this week’s assignment for AP Biology. This activity followed a class viewing and discussion of the HHMI video, “Some Animals are More Equal Than Others: Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades“. In my follow up activity (pictures below) students choose an organism to explore and then complete a set of Google Slides. Please let me know if you use these and how it goes! This was my first time introducing this extension and I would love feedback 🙂