For this 100-minute history lab, students will answer the question: Who or what is to blame for the Black Plague. Was it the rat? Flea? Was God punishing mankind? To answer that question, students will visit 8 stations and read sources that include a map, Hazmat Publication, CDC pamphlet, autopsy report and even a video from the perspective of a rat.
To prepare the stations you just have to:
1. Print Lab Exhibits for each of the 8 stations. I print 4 copies of each so that each member of the 4-student group has their own copy to read. Station 5 has a video. You can either have students use the QR Code within the exhibit to access video or just download the video to another device.
I place them in big envelopes and place a sticker that identifies the evidence on each envelope. I purchased Sticker printer paper from Amazon.
4. With collaboration at the forefront of my mind, I design the labs to require no intervention on my end. Students rotate through the stations. They become used to hearing the bell at the end of the timer that signals its time to move and they move to the next station without prompting.
Because they are able to collaborate and do the work completely independent of me, I am able to focus on their collaboration techniques. I listen for their use of the Collaborative Roles and give them feedback and assess their collaboration using the Collaboration Scoring Guide.
FUN TWIST: At times, I make this a fun challenge by giving the group the collaborates the best hats or a trophy of some sort. Throughout the lab, I'll move the trophy or hats to the group that is doing really well collaborating. The group that is in possession of the trophy or hats at the conclusion of the lab, wins a small prize.