Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Should Floods Be Controlled? (A Visual Tug of War)

This summer while Pinterest-ing (that's a word, right?) I saw an awesome idea about discussing and debating a topic or question by using a visual tug of war. You can post the question on the board and the students voice their opinion on a sticky note. I have been waiting to try it and love the results of our basic beginning!

We have worked our way through our first unit of science. Earth science has been a blast to teach! As a culmination type of activity, we have been studying how we can use technology to intercept or change constructive and destructive forces in nature.

Our beginning was studying about floods- what they are, what they do, how they occur, etc. We learned how they can be stopped (dams, levees, floodways, etc.).

The first step of our Visual Tug of War was to have our thoughts organized. I teach several different classes so each class made a chart of the Pros and Cons of controlling flood waters:

Then we pretended that we were the city council and had to make a decision on if we should control the yearly flooding (pretend for us). They had to decide on an answer to my question:

Then they had to explain their reasoning:

While my first attempt at this did not have rebuttals and defense statements, I think they accomplished the overall activity. It was great and the students did an awesome job of applying their learning!

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