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Before engaging in lessons, students attempt to draw a diagram of a nitrogen cycle and add as many components as they can. This allows them to self-assess (and the teacher to assess) what they know about the nitrogen cycle. Students research some of the nitrogen cycle components online at various websites or read printouts from websites provided by the teacher. They choose three or four facts of interest about their component and report to the rest of the class. Each small group of students is given a set of materials including 20 objects, 20 picture-cards, 20 nitrogen cycle component explanation cards, 20 title cards for each nitrogen cycle component, heading cards for different environments such as the atmosphere, soil, water, etc., and many small arrows. The students work together to pair each object with its corresponding title card, description card, and picture card. Then these are all arranged to form a possible nitrogen cycle with various components clustered around heading cards and arrows used to show movement of nitrogen from one object to another. Students then write humorous (limerick, couplet) poems or more serious poems (haiku) or structured poems (cinquain, diamante) to tell several facts about a component of the nitrogen cycle. They share their poems with the class. Students may also engage in experiments with nitrogen fertilizer.
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