The human body is a miracle, all the ways we learn and move, breathe and live. How do you encourage 6thgraders to really explore this topic? Enter Ms. Oliver’s unit on the human body—which her students worked on for weeks.

Studying and learning all about the body: cells, organs, tissues, muscles and more was engaging. They spent weeks acquiring knowledge, but this project had another twist.

Students turned their knowledge into presentations which they gave to each other and eager guests, like me. Not only did they study and research the human body, they created their presentations in Google Slides, some of them were beautiful, well written and so well organized. Then the students presented their material to their peers and visitors. Impressive stuff.

At the end, the students graded their own work based on a Rubric Ms. Oliver shared with them. They graded themselves on the accuracy of their content, how well their logic and the information on the slides flowed and if was engaging and interesting, the smoothness of the transitions, interesting pictures and artwork, the mechanics like spelling and grammar, using their own words, and finally on how well they presented their material to one another.

Learning was going on at a lot of different levels. Certainly they learned much about their bodies, but they also learned how to present ideas using tools that will be used in high school, college and careers. My favorite part was the encouragement and praise students shared with each other, “That’s a really cool slide!” and “I would give you a really good grade on this!” Turns out they learned how to really support each other, too.

Then, as Ms. Oliver said, “We are going to celebrate when we’re done presenting.  Do you know why? Because when authors finish writing, they celebrate!” The 6th grade students at Banaadir worked hard, learned a lot, and definitely earned the delicious treats following the presentations.

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