Students will gain new understanding, appreciation and emotional connections to phytoplankton by making the invisible
visible through a series of lesson plans and interactive puzzle game experiences.
Allow students to share some phytoplankton facts they learned from the first lesson (or have students take T/F quiz
if they did not do lesson #1). Introduce the idea of being a combined scientist, artist and educator and show them the
video about Ernest Haeckel. After the video, explain to students that they will use Haeckel as inspiration and work in
groups to explore phytoplankton and design a simple game, such as Memory or Dominoes, to answer the three essential
questions. Students will be introduced to the Collaboration Contract (attached) and asked to copy the three essential
questions onto the contract. Brainstorm as a class a few ideas about how they could design a game about phytoplankton
and the essential questions using the preferred open source software of your choice. If needed, give them a short
demonstration on how to use the software.
Students will break up into groups and use the Collaboration Contract to guide their discussions and decision-making
process before they begin research and game making. Each student should complete a Collaboration Contract and the
group should get their plan approved by a teacher before moving on. The Collaboration Contract works as expectations
and assessment to the project, which allows teachers to differentiate expectations from group to group depending on
needs. Ultimately, students will be reading information and paraphrasing into one or two important facts, as well as
making connections through designing/drawing a sketch of each phytoplankton on the card. Amount and variety of
cards will depend on game chosen and teacher expectations.
When groups finish their games, they will switch off to verbally facilitate their game to another group and play a different
group’s game. Students will evaluate one other game of their choice, reflect on their own group’s game and answer
essential questions in their own words.