Students can apply an algorithm design to create a flowchart to identify living things with step-by-step instructions. This could be an interesting formative or summative assessment because it identifies potential gaps or alternative conceptions in students’ conceptual knowledge. Students can choose what they feel are important characteristics of living things and can check their work by testing it with other students, or by using their own critical and creative thinking skills.
Curriculum and Integration
Digital Technologies – Processes & production skills. Digital implementation:
Year 3 algorithms (ACTDIP011)
Year 5 algorithms & repetition (ACTDIP019)
Biological sciences – Living things:
Year 3 observable features (ACSSU044)
Year 5 structural features (ACSSU043)
This task can be modified to accommodate for other subjects such as step-by-step instructions with word recognition in literacy, or patterns in number and algebra in numeracy lessons.
Students can choose the number of steps when designing their flowchart, depending on what they are classifying.
Students can use this to create further flowcharts and food webs to expand their knowledge on food chains. They could use digital technology to create instructions using Makey Makey and Scratch to help present their work to the rest of the class.
I feel that the extension part of the task falls under Augmentation within the SAMR model because it is not used to modify or redefine the task. It acts as an engaging representation of data (information on living things) with functional improvement for students to interact with and learn from.
Students need to be shown that there are exceptions to the rule, and while there may be similarities between living things, there may also be distinct differences between them when comparing other characteristics which can be explored.