Last week we wrapped up our unit on Photosynthesis in my 11th grade Biology class. Before the test we did a hands-on review activity during our double period. How do you do hands-on activities with 70 students without a lab or materials? You have to get creative.
I set up eight stations in an empty classroom, each with different activities and questions relating to a photosynthesis. There was a a station with a microscope to examine a leaf, there was a plant pigment chromatography station, a starch test demo station, a station with the equation for photosynthesis written on cards which they had to put in the right order and answer questions about, as well as stations on parts of a plant cell, the internal structure of the leaf, the chloroplast and the minerals of photosynthesis.
At first their was some confusion about how to proceed with this crazy activity, but soon they all got it and were diligently working their way through all the stations. Best of all, I think it helped them prepare for their test which improved their scores. Success!
I'm thinking of hanging the leftover diagrams in my house as decorations. Right now the walls are bare and could use a little livening up. Could be a way to entertain guests too. "Identify all the parts of a plant cell and win a free lizard!"