IB Biology Practical Investigations/Human Health and Physiology/Menstrual Cycle Animation
MENSTRUAL CYCLE ANIMATION TASK
- Produce an animation to illustrate the menstrual cycle
- By the end of this activity, students will be able to explain the menstrual cycle using Flash animation.
- ongoing project
INTRODUCTION: Many students by now have ICT skills that surpass those of their teachers and seem to love fiddling with animations. This task takes a fairly dull topic and allows them to produce a resource that could be used in middle-school health classes or as a simple revision tool for later on.
MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:
- Macromedia Flash Professional (or other animation software)
- 1 computer per student or pair
OTHER RESOURCES NEEDED:
- text or revision guide
- input from counsellor if the results are to be used for middle-school education
- If all students in the class are strong on animation, work solo.
- If some have limited ICT skills, pair them with stronger members of the class. They can split the research/ animating elements of the task between them.
- Agree as a class on a time limit for the project - 2 weeks may be sufficient. If students have their own laptops, you may want to give up a few lessons for the project.
- Define the task clearly. At minimum, SL content must be covered effectively. HL students may want to add in extra detail, as either an option in their animation (selected from a menu), or as a more advanced presentation that would probably be insuitable for middle-school use but may be used for DP revision.
- Personally, I prefer that information is clear, not copied, and not too wordy. Animations are supposed to make learning more simple, not confuse the issue!
- I also prefer that students don't include any overpowering soundtrack, especially death-metal or happy-hardcore rave tunes, as this distracts from the point of the animation. Needless to say, they still do it.
- Emphasise substance over style.
SAFETY/ RISK ASSESSMENT
- In some cultures, parents may need to give approval before students are shown materials of this nature.
- Censor content before it is shown to younger students - be especially vigilant with errors or misconceptions that may lead students into poor life choices.
IDEAS FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION
- This could be used as part of a parents' education day, or in a school health symposium.
- The task could be easily adapted to most topics in Biology.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES: