Technology has added new meaning to cut and paste, but the old fashioned cut and paste has a place in the modern classroom. Studying cycles in nature requires students to be able to see relationships between the biotic and abiotic factors. There are lost of beautiful diagrams and inter actives available, but students find it difficult to understand the relationships.
Good old fashioned cutting and pasting allows them to physically manipulate pieces of paper and see relationships. This is also a great group activity as it allows discussion, team work and justification of ideas.
The class took a little while to warm to the activity. I gave very little instruction. They had a sheet with parts of the Carbon Cycle written on it. They had to draw pictures to represent the description.Some groups had one person drawing all the pictures, other groups divided them amongst the group. The next step was to put them on the butchers paper. This is where some groups got down on the floor and spread them out, allowing them a big picture view. Some groups went to the internet to research the Carbon Cycle ti help them with the order.
There was much discussion of what went where and which ways the arrows should go. Students had to justify their ideas and look at the position in relation to the whole cycle.
From this activity they gained a better understanding of Cycles and a lot of that had to do with the physical aspect of cutting, pasting and moving parts on paper. There is room for these older types learning strategies to complement technology.
This activity was based on a Science By Doing activity.