January 30, 2020

Using a Summary Table for Storyline Progression

Lindsey Tropf

Our pre-built Storylines in Tyto Online give you an out-of-the-box way to have students explore an anchoring phenomenon or driving question as they build knowledge. However, debriefing with your students is an important part of the learning process: they shouldn't only be playing the game, but also having conversations with their peers and the teacher about what they have observed and learn.An awesome tool to do that is the Summary Table!  So, let's dive in...

What is a Summary Table & how does it work with Storylines?

In short, a Summary Table is a table where your students can log what they have done throughout a Storyline, what they observed, what they've learned about the science, and how it connects to the phenomenon they are investigating.  It helps students document their developing understanding of the concept across the entire storyline.  See the blank Summary Table below:

An explanation of all the parts of the table:

  • Phenomenon: students write down the phenomenon they are exploring at the top of the page.
  • Driving Question: and also the driving question behind the storyline or phenomenon investigation!
  • Each row then logs a new quest in our Storyline.
  • Activity (Concept): students write down the activity they did that added a new piece of the puzzle about this phenomenon. For example, they could have conducted an experiment in the game like releasing a weather balloon sensor on top of a mountain to collect data. It's great if they also note the concept this showed, if there's an explicit one for that quest.
  • Observation, Evidence, Patterns: Here is where they write down what the result of that activity. What evidence did they collect, or what did they observe and learn?
  • Why? This box is explaining the science content behind the activity and observations. Why do your students think the specific thing they observed in the last column happened?
  • Connection (to phenomenon): How does this connect to the phenomenon and question we are exploring?  Essentially, how does this add to the puzzle as students figure out how things work across the entire storyline!

How do I use it in the classroom with students?

While your students are doing the Storyline within Tyto Online, give them a copy of the Summary Table so they can log a row for each quest. Below is an example Summary Table we completed to show what this would look like completely filled in. Note that if your students want, they can make sketches of their observations and document in a variety of creative ways!

Students can do the Summary Table on their own while they play Tyto Online, or you can complete it as a class after each quest or two.An extension you can do for self-grading is to have a "My Thoughts" version on one side, and then do "Class Thoughts" on the back of the page.  You can have students do "My Thoughts" on their own, and then afterwards, or at certain checkpoints, you can have class discussions and have them flip it over to fill out the "Class Thoughts" side.  They can then use this as a self-check to make sure their understanding matched that of the classroom discussion.

Resources & Links.

Of courese, we have you taken care of!We have templates in Google Drive for each of these.  Check one out here.We've also included them as a resource in your Teacher Guides for each Storyline. Find them with the correct quest length in a Teacher Guide "Storyline In-Class Support" section. We've also included a completed example of each one, so you can see what we have in mind (i.e. have the teacher guide version). Some teachers are using this to delete some of the columns and leave some filled for their students -- for example, you could leave the Activity filled and let them fill out the rest!Here's what it looks like in the Teacher Guide:

Also, the best article I've read about using Summary Tables, which really helped us expand our ideas of how to use them, is from the Duelling with Science blog.  They also talk about how you can use them for teacher planning. Check it out here!

Let us know if you have any questions, or please share and tag us on Instagram or Twitter if you use this with your students!

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