During our recent study of chemistry, I had my eighth grade students create a comic strip of a rather complicated experimental method.  They drew this comic strip across the white board at the front of the room.  Each class contributed a section of the comic, and also improved on sections previously created.   By the end of the last class we had an incredible, student-generated resource to support the experiment we were going to do the next day.  As an unplanned bonus, this process also unearthed a rather comical misunderstanding.  Check out the images below.

Students working in collaborative groups on different sections of the comic.

A section of the comic showing a filtration set up.

A drawing showing that the experimenter needs to find the mass of a funnel by placing the funnel inside a weighing boat, and placing both on an electronic balance.

This is what an actual weighing boat look like:

Thank goodness the artist took a risk and sketched out her version of a weighing boat.  It was only then I realized I hadn’t actually pre-taught what this piece of equipment was.   I definitely think I’ll try this strategy again.  We’ve done a lot of chemistry experiments this year.  Now I’m left wondering how else I’ve completely baffled them.

Erlenmeyer flask…

Crucible…