August 16, 2017

Science Survivor Style for the Classroom

Cast Away

This is part one of a two part series on Science Survivor Style

As a teacher it’s important to find projects and units of study that keep students interested and motivated. One unit of study I used with Science students in sixth grade was a Survivor Unit. This unit can easily be adapted to upper level students.

Day 1-3. I began the unit by showing the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. We then had class discussions about the experiences and situations that Tom Hanks character faced.

Day 4 I assigned the students to make a list of 1oo items that they would want to take with them to an uninhabited island. I instructed them to think carefully about what they would need to survive and thrive in such a difficult environment. I allowed them to talk in groups of four about their ideas for fifteen minutes before making their list. I also suggested to them that they should include at least a few luxury items such as as sport gear, books, a journal, a camera etc. It would be their choice which  luxury items were included, but they were limited to ten.

Day 5 We discussed and shared our lists ( I made one as well.) We noted items that we felt were essential and we discussed how people have different ideas about what might be essential and why.

Day 6  Narrow the  list to the top 30 items that will go to the island with you. The luxury items are now narrowed to three. ( I chose one tenth of the list.)  Finish with a class discussion about what makes the final list and why.

Science is a subject where scientific information and resources are always expanding and changing. One great option to expand your science content and knowledge is to use these online Science  News Services.

See part two of the series for the remaining unit and project plans.

Photo Credit Shayan USA Flickr

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