SAMR Practice: Science Journals

Student Academic Level

This activity is designed for high school students, but it can easily be modified for elementary or middle school students.

Brief Description of Activity

Journaling is a great way to engage students in regular reflective thinking about course content. Individual journal entries can also be used as a method of formative assessment. This SAMR modification-level activity takes journaling and adds another level of complexity through group work, peer review, and revision. It can even be used as a summative assessment.

At the end of each unit of study, students work in groups to turn their science journals into multimedia group presentations. They will select a certain number of individual journal entries (with each student contributing at least one individual entry) that they feel capture their overall experience with that particular unit. They will also augment these writing pieces with images, videos, audio clips, or other media they feel help to convey the feeling of the unit. Student groups will select an app or other tech tool (such as Voicethread) that will allow them to present their group journal as a single cohesive product.

Student groups will also create a single instructional piece that can be used to teach one of the unit's key concepts. This can be a graphic organizer, a slide deck with narration, an infographic or image with narration (such as with Explain Everything), a video, or whatever the group feels best conveys the information.

Finally, student groups will post their journals and instructional pieces to a Wikispace, Padlet, Google Doc, or other shared space as designated by the teacher. Using a rubric, students will conduct a peer review of all the group projects.

Activity Goals

This activity will help my students to practice basic literacy (reading and writing), network literacy, digital citizenship, information literacy, and media literacy. This activity is content-specific; that is, it can be used as a culminating activity for any instructional unit.


In this activity, students are consuming, producing, receiving feedback, and revising. The revision process is embedded in the group work as the group reviews their individual contributions and edits them for inclusion in the group submission.


In this activity, students will use a variety of tech tools for researching, reading, writing/editing, presenting, creating instructional pieces, conducting peer reviews, and providing constructive feedback.


The level of communication in this activity is 1:small group.

Pedagogical Problem

This activity will help me to solve the pedagogical problem of getting students actively engaged in reviewing, summarizing, and integrating course content at the end of an instructional unit.

Previous Approach

In the past, I assigned journaling activities in isolation and/or conducted teacher-driven review sessions. This activity not only integrates technology to support learning, it also makes students active participants in the review and reflection process.

Student Actions

In this activity, students read, write, edit, reflect, collaborate, evaluate, compare, summarize, teach, create, analyze, and more.


Students will be assessed by their teacher and by one another. In both cases, assessment will be guided by rubrics provided at the start of the activity.

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