These project examples, developed by teachers from a wide range of grade levels and subject areas, use the Visual Ranking Tool to promote critical thinking and spark classroom discussions.
The Role of Friends: Do actions speak louder than words?
Grades 2-4, Language Arts
After the teacher reads aloud the classic story of Charlotte's Web, students analyze the plot and characters to consider the key qualities of friendship. Using Visual Ranking, they rank which of Wilbur's friends play the most important role in keeping him alive. Then they go on to consider roles that friends play in their own lives.
Human Migration: How has human experience changed over time?
Grades 3-5, Social Studies
Students explore reasons and rationale behind migration of different groups throughout American history and communicate findings in a timeline. Relocation events in their personal and family histories are shared in a parallel timeline. The Visual Ranking Tool helps students compare and discuss ideas to answer the question, Why do people migrate?
Classify Animals: Does everything have its place?
Grades 5-8, Biology
As an introduction to scientific classification, this unit first has students devise their own animal classification system. Next, they learn about the classification system developed by Linnaeus. Visual Ranking is used early in the unit to help students find out what they already know (and need to know) about classification systems. Later, the tool is used to assess how well students have grasped and can apply the concept of scientific classification.
Impact of Inventions: How does change impact our lives?
Grades 5-8, Social Studies
Everything changes in our world. In this unit, students understand how inventions have shaped our world today and continue to influence the future. Visual Ranking helps students evaluate the impact of significant inventions, determine which inventions to research, and compare their rankings to other groups.
Career Choices: How do people make important choices in their lives?
Grades 7-12, Social Studies, Career Exploration
This unit encourages students to think critically about career choices and job satisfaction, and understand that the factors affecting different occupations may change over time. By becoming their own career counselor, students use Visual Ranking to help themselves evaluate criteria that shape career choices, focus their research, and develop a framework for investigating careers of interest.
River City Water: How do we affect our natural environment?
Grades: 9-12, Environmental Science
In this environmental science unit, students learn how human actions affect the quality of nearby rivers. Students conduct in-depth research about specific environmental factors and learn how to measure water quality indicators. Students are assigned a role in a mock city council hearing that is evaluating proposed development projects. They use the Visual Ranking Tool to compare factors relating to water quality and industry in order to create a presentation to the city council.