Find Your Own Direction


Hello to everyone. We are living in two different cities in Turkey to teach three different schools. He is a teacher of Fevziye Dönmez-Social Sciences, Semih Esendemir-Science and Selçuk Yusuf Arslan- Computer Science. As 2 STEM and 1 non-STEM teacher, we implemented our “Find Your Own Direction” lesson plan for Integrated STEM Teaching for Secondary Schools MOOC. We had enjoyable lessons with our students in our practice, both online and face to face. Although we do it according to different schools, we are very happy to be able to realize this practice despite the pandemic. Now let’s move on to the details of the application …

You can access the learning scenario (LS) implemented from this link: “Find your own direction

The Implementation Context and The Narrative

Fevziye Dönmez made your social science-related course face to face, and Selçuk Yusuf Arslan did the computer science-related course remotely. Working in another city, Semih Esendemir, on the other hand, met with the students online with the permission of the school administration and gave the science lesson. As stated in the lesson plan, 40 minutes in 4 sessions, lesson plan in 160 minutes in total. The class in which the application is made is 12 students. Half of the group consists of female students and half of them are male students. The grade level of the group, whose ages are 11-12, is 7. Students have done similar applications before, but not with an interdisciplinary approach. Students can do block-based coding at a basic level. Let’s take a look at the short stories of the lessons.

Science: It met with students on Zoom on April 7, 2021. As part of the Science course, students were asked to discover that the Earth has a magnetic field, grasp the relationship of the compass with the magnetic field, and make compass models in which they will experience the working principle of the compass. In the first 40 minutes, a discussion environment was created on the magnetic field of the Earth, the effects of its magnetic field and the compass. The polar lights, the protective effect of the magnetic field, the effect of the compass and the compass against magnetism were discussed. In the second 40 minutes, students designed simple compass models using simple materials. They discovered the working principle of the compass by recording the positions it took when they released a magnet in different directions.

Figure 1. Examples of compass models

Computer Science: It met with students on April 12, 2021 through Microsoft Teams. The purpose of this activity was to transform the physical compass they had done in previous lessons into an electronic device by writing code. In the activity, which lasted for 40 minutes, the students made a compass application using the BBC micro: bit. Two students had micro: bite. Other students used the simulator offered by Microsoft Makecode. Students coded the compass in 25-30 minutes using the instructions given to them. In the remaining time, they checked the accuracy of the compass and shared it with the class.

Figure 2. Compass making with microbit

Social Sciences: On April 15, 2021, a face-to-face meeting was held with students in the school environment for a 40-minute practice. In the first 20 minutes, the historical process of the compass and the subjects of using the compass in Geographical Discoveries were conveyed to the students through an interactive presentation, supported by visuals and animations. After the presentation, for a period of 10 minutes, the students were asked to think of themselves as a sailor exploring during Geographical discoveries and to draw their steps on the map by using their compass to explore continents, oceans, countries and their directions on the world mute political map. With the help of the compass, each student created his own exploration route on the map.

Figure 3. Sailor exploring during geographic discoveries

In the last 10 minutes, the kahoot activity was carried out as a measurement and evaluation activity.

Figure 4. Kahoot result

Learning outcomes 

The learning outcomes of this lesson plan; physical compass models, electronic compass made with microcomputer and world mute political map.

They designed compass models with simple materials. Observing that the compasses they designed give the same result as real compasses, they discovered the working principle of compasses by experiencing them.

By integrating what they learned in science course with technology, they made electronic compasses with micro: bit. The compasses made were tested by the students and the direction was determined with high accuracy.

They learned about the historical process of the compass and its role in Geographical Discoveries. They developed historical empathy, exploring the locations of the oceans and continents and their directions on the mute political map of the world.

Teachers who will carry out this learning scenario online are expected to carefully examine the lesson plan before the lesson and prepare the online and offline materials requested from the students. Although Microsoft Makecode is free software, the teacher can use similar platforms as well.

Teaching outcomes

All 3 teachers who carry out this activity agree that it is more efficient to give lesson outcomes with an interdisciplinary approach. The study of a subject in different disciplines both makes it easier for students to understand the subject and enables them to gain different perspectives.

Recommendations for other teachers who will implement this lesson plan are as follows:

-This lesson can be applied both face-to-face and virtually.

In online applications, the list of materials can be shared with students a while before the lesson.

-Students practicing on block-based platforms such as Scratch and Mblock before the lesson can facilitate the coding application in this lesson plan.

Students should be reminded that they should be careful when handling magnets and keep them away from electronic devices such as computers, cell phones and TV screens.

– It may be helpful for students to examine the world political map, look at the distribution of oceans and continents, and the locations of countries on the map before the lesson.

While applying this scenario, course teachers benefited from different sources. In the coding activity, the compass making method on the Microsoft Makecode website was used. The web site called howstuffworks was used for the design activity on compass models. In order to prepare interactive lesson presentations for the activity of the Social Studies lesson, the information in the Moment Expo Magazine and the 7th grade textbook prepared according to the national curriculum were used.

Before this lesson plan was implemented, 3 teachers held a meeting on March 29, 2021. Although the difficulties experienced due to the pandemic period and the fact that Semih Esendemir lived in a different city were a disadvantage for us, we overcame these problems with a successful planning. We continued our sharing in the Google Classroom environment that we created after the meeting. We completed some of the event face-to-face and some online. We think it is a successful cooperation.

Figure 5. Group meeting

In addition, the feedback form filled out by the students at the end of the lesson made us happy. Our students expressed that they generally enjoyed the lesson, their participation increased thanks to hands-on activities and they wanted other lessons to be taught in this way.

Similarly, in the Kahoot test, students had the opportunity to reinforce and measure their gains at the end of the 3-class activity in an entertaining way.

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About Selcuk Yusuf Arslan

Selcuk Yusuf ARSLAN is a computer science teacher in Ankara, Turkey. In 2018, he was awarded the Global Teacher Award by AKS Education. In the same year, he was selected as the Most Outstanding Young Person of Turkey by JCI in the category of Humanitarian and Voluntary Leadership. He has been elected as Extraordinary Teacher of the Year three times in Turkey. Arslan who was selected as Working Wonder Teacher by Microsoft Turkey in 2017, successfully represented his country in numerous international organizations with his students. As an ICT teacher, he collaborates with voluntary organisations and carries out social responsibility projects.