Thursday, June 28, 2007

NY Times Lesson Plan and Brain-Based Learning

New York Times Daily Lesson Plan developed in partnership with the Bank Street College of Education in NYC is a valuable resource for teachers in different subjects.

I've chosen a lesson plan "Under the Sea" because my students developed many underwater animated projects in Flash, and I thought it would be great to combine my computer lessons with science lessons. I've made some adjustments to the NY Times lesson plan based on Brain-Based Learning theory and added more interdisciplinary connections.

This lesson plan is for grades 6-8. In this project, students invent imaginary deep sea creatures, create a classroom museum exhibit, research the Internet, read articles and books, create movies, and write creative stories about these animals.

The lesson plan is reinforcing interdisciplinary connections: Fine Arts, Dance, Sculpture, Computers, Language Arts, Science, Geography, Global History, and Health. For example:

Science --students learn about deep sea exploration;
Dance -- imitate deep sea creatures movements and use underwater sound effects;
Sculpture -- create sculptures of underwater creatures;
Fine Arts --draw deep sea creatures;
Computers -- develop and program animated movies and 3D models;
Language Arts -- write poems and stories;
Geography -- study marine trenches;
Global History -- learn about marine explorations;
Health -- investigate the effects of extreme pressure on the body under water.

According to brain-based learning, an interdisciplinary curriculum reinforces brain-based learning because the brain can better make connections when material is presented in an integrated way, rather than as isolated bits of information.

Brain-based learning requires orchestrated immersion or creating learning environments that fully immerse students in an educational experience. While studying about the abyss creatures, students describe and draw fictitious sea creatures that might live in the deep sea, animate them, create their own animated movies, make 3D models of organisms on a computer and create a life-size diorama of the abyss. As a culmination of this project, students design costumes based on colors and shapes of the deep see animals and have a carnival.

Research documents that the brain grows and adapts in response to external stimuli. In this lesson plan, students process new information by consolidating and internalizing information and creating their own creative products: drawings, movies, 3D models, poetry, and sci-fi stories. Students are stimulated with fascinated articles, books, paintings, photo images, video, underwater sounds, etc.

This project could also benefit from field trips to aquarium, guest speakers -- marin biologists, and real-life projects as saving endangered underwater species. This will allow students to use many learning styles and multiple intelligences.


Mysteries To Behold In the Dark Down Deep: Seadevils And Species Unknown.

Multimedia Slide Show: Seadevils and Species

Brain-based learning

The Definition of The Brain & Learning

Flash animation was created by my 7th grade students.

No comments: