Using Activity Plans

Merge EDU includes standards-aligned activity plans that correspond to the science simulations inside the Merge Explorer app for K-8th grade. Activity plans guide students through every simulation in a topic card, and include step-by-step instructions that can be teacher-led or student-led, both in the classroom or remotely from home. These easy-to-follow activity plans will help your students gain key knowledge while immersed in learning.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the main steps for using the activity plans in your science class.

  • Accessing Merge Activity Plans
  • Overview of Merge Activity Plans
    • Part 1: Essential Questions
    • Part 2: Activity
    • Part 3: Assessment
    • Part 4: Extension Ideas
    • Part 5: Performance Expectations
  • Sharing Activity Plans

Follow these steps to learn how to access and use Merge Activity Plans in your lessons:

Step 1 - Access the Merge Activity Plans
  1. Go to https://dashboard.mergeedu.com/ and login to your account.
    Click here if you need help signing in.

  2. Select “Activity Plans” located under “Science” on the left menu.

  3. Choose the Activity Plan for the topic card you would like to use.

  4. Select the grade level appropriate for your students, and download the PDF.

Note: If a grade band does not show up for a topic card, then it does not align to the NGSS standards for that grade level.

 

Step 2 - Overview of Merge Activity Plans

The Activity Plans were written with students in mind! The instructions are written at a grade-appropriate level and walk students through the science simulations while engaging their critical thinking skills. 

Let’s look at all of the parts of a Merge Activity Plan:

Part 1: Essential Questions

The Essential Questions are questions students should think about throughout the course of the activity. It highlights what the students should be learning as they progress through the topic card.

Part 2: Activity

The next part is the activity itself, broken down into numbered steps. The activity plans are designed to be student led, making it easy for students to follow along at school or at home with or without teacher guidance. 

Part 3: Assessment

After the activity steps are completed, the students are directed to complete one or more of the  assessment options. They can create a video, answer the essential questions in their science notebook, and take the quiz inside Merge Explorer at the end of the topic card.

Part 4: Extension Ideas

Every activity plan includes at least one extension idea. These are activities students can complete that connect their learning back to the real world. They may be asked to do research, sketch a model, create a diagram, or conduct a small experiment to solidify their understanding. 

Part 5: Performance Expectations

At the bottom of every activity plan, we list our performance expectations, which are mapped to the NGSS Science Standards that Merge Explorer topic card is aligned with. 

You can always check your region-specific science standards by clicking this link to our Standards Alignment Document Dropbox.

 

Step 3 - Sharing Activity Plans

Sharing Activity Plans from “Science Simulations”

  1. Select “Science Simulations” under “Science” on the left-side Navigation Menu to view the list of topic cards inside Merge Explorer, then select the Topic Card you wish to use.

  2. Click “Activity Plans” then select “Share Content”.

  3. Click “Copy Link” to copy the link to that Activity Plan.

  4. Share the link using email or your classroom management tool – the link will launch the topic card directly in the Merge Explorer app.

Sharing Activity Plans from “Activity Plans”

  1. Select “Activity Plans” under “Science” on the left-side Navigation Menu to view the list of Activity Plans for Merge Explorer.

  2. Click the activity plan you wish to use, then select “Share Content”.

  3. Click “Copy Link” to copy the link to that Activity Plan.

  4. Share the link using email or your classroom management tool – the link will launch the topic card directly in the Merge Explorer app.

 

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When you incorporate the easy-to-follow activity plans into your lessons, students will gain key knowledge while immersed in learning. And, you can use the Activity Plans for both classroom learning or for students learning from home.

Have fun teaching with Merge EDU!

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