Using Active Learning and Gameplay in Understanding Species Survival Traits
Abstract: Active learning has been shown to increase student engagement and enthusiasm toward learning. Students actively engaged in learning activities are more likely to internalize, understand, and remember material compared to a traditional lecture where students passively receive information from their teacher. In this paper, a group of college STEM major students developed and taught a lesson where third grade students were actively engaged in interactive demonstrations learning certain traits displayed by animal species that help them survive in their own natural habitat. Later, these third grade students applied their newly formed knowledge of the animal traits by choosing which survival trait they wanted to possess for themselves and attempting to use that trait in completing a series of physical challenges. The third grade students exhibited a high degree of engagement while developing scientific processing skills in both the interactive demonstrations and the physical challenges.