As consumers, most of us have seen advertising place mats. Suggestions
for making a place mat on insect development are given and a sample place
mat on kidney function included. For future topics/vocabulary lists,
students can design their own place mats and submit them as an activity.
Look at the sample template included in the background section. Then design
your own blank template. Students will fill in the blank template with
the slogans they create.
If you choose, get a technology student to design the template place mat.
Give students a list of terms and have them figure out the meanings
or you can give the students all the information/terminology to be placed
on the place mat. In subsequent place mat activities, a template may be
unnecessary and you may want to give the students more creative license
rather than follow the template.
Preparation time needed--if students have to look up meanings it will be
more time consuming; if you give them all of the information, then students
can spend the time creating the place mat itself.
Class time needed--dependent of amount of information given to students.
A blank template to be filled in with the slogans/advertising material
which the students create.
Teacher needs to provide initial instruction, show students what is expected
of them and share an example with them (see background). They should provide
them with the terminology/vocabulary/concepts to be placed on the the place
If students are to design the template then they will need access to a
computer and appropriate software to construct a table.
At the 1997 Woodrow Wilson High School Biology Institute at Princeton University,
Princeton, NJ., Dr. Donald Cronkite, Professor of Biology at Hope College
in Holland, MI. presented the idea of place mats which he and his wife
Jane had created. Dr.Cronkite challenged the teacher/participants
to come up with their own. This activity is an attempt to answer
that challenge. Vocabulary, the introduction of new concepts or
review for tests are some of the activities where the place mat activity
could help to make a necessary exercise more stimulating and a lot more
fun. After designing their place mats, students compose a list of
10 - 12 questions about the content of their place mats. Their place
mats and questions will be shared with the other groups. Here is
the Cronkites' place mat for the study of the kidney. This sample
is provided to help you create the place mat template; we realize that
some of the text in the boxes below is not legible.
Divide the students into teams of 2 or 4; give them the blank template
and the headlines for each box (see bold items below #3)
As an introduction to INSECTS, the teacher may go over the
following topics: complete and incomplete metamorphosis, larva,
pupa, adult, exoskeleton (cuticle), and endocrine control of metamorphosis.
These words/terms will be placed in each box along with an ad.
Here is an example of how two of the boxes within the place mat might look:
Now challenge the students to create their own placemat and award
extra credit points for creativity!
Methods of Evaluation/Assessment
Have students turn in as a standard assignment.
Have students exchange with one another and answer questions for prizes
Teacher could give out as a class assignment or give as homework.
Draw for prizes and reward them if all the answers are correct.