Teaching Strategy: Drake Equation: Preparing to Play
The concept web (or map) is a good way to introduce abstract vocabulary and to examine information because it builds on prior knowledge and makes relationships between concepts visible. Brainstorm what students know about the topic of life on other planets by creating a concept web on the board, diagramming with bubbles or branches.
Which concepts of the likelihood of alien life are based in science, which in fiction, and which in both? It is important for students to learn to analyze the sources of their information, and to be able to assess their value. Through the concept web, students access prior knowledge of the topic and organize their thoughts and ideas.
Follow up by playing Drake’s Equation and see if the results are surprising to any of the game players. Then discuss!