Monday, February 06, 2012

Culture Bags

This was a wonderul idea shared by one mof my colleagues. 
We had studentts work together in partners to create Culture Bags for the individuals involved in the discovery of DNA.
We provided students with a lunch bag and the names of the scientists invovled in the "Race for the Double Helix".
Students were told to decorate the exterior of the bag and then fill the bag with items that represented that individual: Who? What? When? Where? Significance? Partners? and How?
Students could find images online, create their own or insert items to represent the individual and their contributions to the Discovery of DNA.

The list of scientists included:
Frederick Griffith
Oswald Avery
Alfred Hershey & Martha Chase
Sir Lawrence Bragg
Erwin Chargaff
Francis Crick
Rosalind Franklin
Linus Pauling
James Watson
Maurice Wilkins.

Students were then asked to present their Culture Bags to the class.  Explaining the significance of their individual scientists and the ways in which they represented that in the bags. 
We provided students with a blank chart for information about the scientists to fill in as these presentations were made.  

It was quite exciting to see how students used their imaginations and creativity to capture the essence of each of these individuals and their contributions. 

The beauty of this type of excercise is the cross curricular aspects that the students were able to see as they realized the historical, political and scientific ramifications of this discovery.  They also became very aware of the collaborative and competitive nature of science.

This type of excercise could be used in any subject and in a wide variety of topics.

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