October 26, 2014

Teaching Science Using Zombies!

Who doesn't love a good zombie?  Over the last decade, a slew of successful movies and now AMCs t.v. series, The Walking Dead, have cemented the zombie as everyone's favourite monster.  The zombie apocalypse has become the backdrop on which every human story can be told.  In this nightmarish zombie dystopia, the human condition can be eviscerated and bared to the bone.  There are endless opportunites for humans to sink into depravity, connect with the primal, attain glory and seek redemption. Riveting stuff.

I love the zombie trope, and so do many of my students who have been initiated into fandom through The Walking Dead.

I decided to celebrate zombies by making an activity that uses the idea of zombies to teach scientific concepts.  This is especially fitting because it's now October which means that:
  1. The new season of The Walking Dead has started.
  2. All Hallow's Eve is almost upon us and kids are primed to respond to all things creepy, scary and blood encrusted.
  3. Yesterday, thousands of zombies descended on Toronto.   I'm not even joking!

Toronto loves a good zombie, even our infamous mayor, Rob Ford.  Here is Ford partaking of a choice bite at one of the Annual Toronto Zombie Walks.

To celebrate Halloween and my love of zombies, I created an activity called The Science of Zombies that uses zombies to teach several different scientific concepts: transmission of contagion, rabies, prion diseases, brain damage, congenital insensitivity to pain, hyperthyroidism and tapeworms.  I've never had so much fun making a resource before.  My love of zombies, plus my love of creating engaging student resources, were perfectly married in this endeavour.

I couldn't help myself, I used this product in my own classrooms last week.  I couldn't wait until Halloween!  I gave it to my Gr.12 Biology Class, as well as left it as a sub plan for my Gr.9 Science Class.  Both classes were very engaged and learned a lot of science!

THE SCIENCE OF ZOMBIES product includes:

(1) 6 page article (with diagrams)
(2) 2 page question worksheet with answer key {editable}
(3) 1 page zombie apocalypse survival guide {editable}
(4) 1 page crossword {editable}
(5) 1 page quick mark quiz {editable}
(6) 2 page lesson implementation guide

I always put my science articles in Duotang booklets to save paper and photocopying costs.  After printing them out and inserting them to Duotangs, I had a whole class set.  The prepared Duotangs were perfect when I had to use the article for an emergency sub plan since all the supply teacher had to do was photocopy the worksheets that accompanied the article.

Below is a link to the full product if you want to take a gander.