- Take 20 flash cards from the box. On each card write one vocabulary word. On the back of each card, write the definition or a picture (or both) of that word. *You may use the computer to print out pictures of images if you would like.* Example:
- Once you have made cards for all of your words, get into a small group of 3 to 4 peers.
- Each group member silently goes through their words and groups them into categories. You may group your words any way that makes sense to you. (Example: put words with similar meanings together.)
- Once each group member has finished arranging their cards into groups; compare your groupings with your peers. Each member then explains how and why you grouped your words the way you did.
- After you and your group members have shared and you’ve heard their explanations, you may move any of your words if you wish.
- After you are satisfied with how your words are arranged, you will get a piece of paper and tape your words, in their categories, on the paper like so:
*Feel free to use any materials to make things easier for you. Example: color coding your categories, giving the categories titles, shapes, images, etc.*
- Now you have all of your vocabulary words, taped in one place, grouped as you like, and you can quiz yourself on the meanings and flip the cards to check!
Graphic Organizer or Concept Mapping Activity: Flow Diagram
How a Bill becomes a Law
- You will create a flow diagram depicting how a bill becomes a law.
- Individually identify and describe the steps it takes for a bill to become a law.
** You may use words and/or images or color coding to depict and describe the steps, and any similarities and/or differences you see.**
- Compare your steps to a partner’s. Do you have the same amount of steps? Why or why not? Describe to your partner how you identified and described the steps.
- Individually, put the steps in some type of order. (There are many different ways you may represent this; progression, similarities, differences, etc.)
- Compare your order with a partner’s. Did you order your steps in the same way? Describe your reasoning with your partner.
- Individually, draw out the steps in order with arrows showing the progression from one step to the next.
**You may need to use arrows in multiple directions if steps repeat or the process goes backwards.**
- Lastly, share your final flow diagram with a partner. Describe the entire process of how a bill becomes a law.
To insure that the students are actively involved in doing their work, I would be circulating around the room. I would be watching as individuals and/or groups completed their work, consulted with their peers, or had questions. I would listen in on group’s conversations to make sure they understood the main concepts and were correct in their understandings. I may pose a question to a student or group of students to further their understanding of a topic or to check for understanding.
Another tactic I used to help students be more engaged is to allow them to use their creativity in several different ways. Students have the opportunity to organize the information in a way that makes it meaningful for them and they also get to use artistic skills and materials to make the assignment more hands on.
To help student shave the 8-10 meaningful interactions with their new terms, I would use the terms in questions that I may pose to them. If a student has a question for me; I would encourage them to use the terms they were working with to ask me. I would also entice dialog among the students where they have the opportunity to use their new terms in context and conversation.
Students would be able to use their vocabulary sheets and flow charts during classroom activities and discussions. Then as the student begins to acquire the knowledge, the student would need to reference the sheets less and less. This would be a way the student could self assess and identify progress. The student could also quiz themselves on their vocabulary and then check their answers by flipping their cards. The student could also self assess by covering up parts of their flow chart and seeing if they could fill them in, or even recreate the entire chart from memory.
An example of an assessment I could do would be to give an assignment where I require the students to use the terms. For example, I could have the students write a summary, essay, or letter using the new terms without using their vocabulary sheets and flow charts.
I could also engage the students even more by using technology and having the students do a podcast, blog, or website that incorporates their newly acquired knowledge. In the example of the bill becoming a law flow diagram, I could have the students choose one step in the process and have them research for legislation that is currently at that stage and have them present it to the class.
I would count the student’s vocabulary list assignment and their flow chart as a grade. In order to not undermine the student-directed emphasis of the assignment, I would give a grade based on completion of the assignment and the effort the student put into it.