Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ecosystem Splat Game

My students loved this! We played ECOSYSTEM SPLAT last Friday as part of an introductory lesson for our upcoming ecology unit.  The purpose of the game was to activate student prior knowledge about ecosystems.  I intended to post this as a Freebie Friday item, but I decided to take the weekend to spend with my family and not my computer! Anyway...here it is: 

Just in case you are interested....
Here is a little more information about how I used this in my classroom: I started my lesson with an Activote (electronic clicker) survey that asked the kids how confident they were about having background knowledge for our new unit on ecology.  As I predicted, many students rated themselves very low!  I wanted to encourage them to think more carefully about their elementary science lessons and other background experiences relating to ecosystems.  During the game many students had “ah ha” moments as they recalled things they knew about the ecosystems.  To enhance the game for one of my high functioning groups, we turned and talked after each round about the ecosystem that was SPLAT during the game.  It was amazing how many things kids recalled from their grade 3-5 reading and science experiences!  (Way to go elementary teachers!!) After this 10 minute game, I asked students to define what an ecosystem was…and they nailed it!  Examples do wonders for helping kids conceptualize science terms.  After the lesson, students reassessed their readiness to start the unit and there were major changes in student responses.  We often use games for review, but in this case it was a great way to activate prior knowledge.  I hope you find it as useful as my students did!

Download the teacher directions and ecosystem clues for FREE at 

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