Three Example Flips

In response to some emails and tweets I received on my last post, I decided to write three short examples of flipping that can happen at varying levels and content areas. Keep in mind, my experience is in high school science, and I am not, in any way, intending these to be used straight from this post in the classroom. You do not need to ask permission to modify, change, or use any of these examples in your class.

Flickr CC, WTL photos

Elementary Math - Building Bridges Students are given time in class by the teacher to identify different shapes in the classroom. They can make a chart of the properties of the shapes in comparison to one another (ex. triangle vs. circle). Then, have them look for different shapes in bridges. How can they show the differences between two different shapes? How are the bridges different?

Give students time in class to draw a bridge comparison. Talk about what shapes are the most common. Why are they common? What makes them good for building? Can they design and build their own structure using those shapes?

Give students options to begin building a bridge using the shape they think is best. Which one holds the most weight? Take pictures of their bridge with the weight and explain why it works.

  Essential Questions - How can we describe different shapes? - What shapes are similar or different from one another? - What shapes are used in bridges based on observation? Why do you think those are used? - If you designed a bridge, what shape would you make it? Why?

Technology Applications - Models of different shapes to describe - Photos of different bridges (i.e. suspension vs. iron lattice) - Camera for students to photograph or film bridges with

Flickr CC, by jox.

Middle School English - Hero Analysis Students choose a short story/novella/novel to read based on their interest. Concurrently, they are working on hero and villain character sketches, describing different attributes of protagonists and antagonists. Students produce a book trailer for the piece they read and they are shared with the class as a whole.

Students are grouped (you decide how) and they have a discussion about the heroes and villains in their books. Try to fit each character into the model developed from literary history. Do contemporary heroes and villains fit in that model? Are there outliers? Why?

Students swap heroes and villains and they re-write a book trailer, mashing the new characters into their book's storyline. Does the book end the same way? Is the plot the same, or does it change based on the traits of the new hero?

Essential Questions - What are the attributes of heroes and villains? - Do attributes of heroes and villains cross between stories? - Are heroes and villains interchangeable within a storyline, or is a story specific to that hero?

Technology Applications - Book availability - Computers for video editing (either local or web-based editing) - Internet connectivity

Flickr CC, Entrer dans le rêve

High School Language - Interviewing a Native Speaker Rather than teaching culture from an American perspective, have students find a native speaker to speak to about food, culture, their city, or life as a student in their country. If possible, have students record their interview (either with a screencast or as audio only) for review and sharing with peers. In the same interview, if possible, reverse the rolls and have your students practice English with their interview partner.

As a follow-up, write monthly letters or emails in the language you are learning as a way to practice the written grammar and conventions.

Essential Questions - How is American perspective of a foreign culture accurate or inaccurate? - How is American culture accurate or inaccurate from an outsider's perspective? - What current events are similar in our societies?

Technology Applications - Internet connection - Web chatting application (Skype, Google+, FaceTime, etc...) - Email account for follow up - Collaborative blog (for correspondance or co-blogging with a pen-pal)


Notice, the common denominator in each of these applications is choice and a redesign of the learning time in class. Video is not the center of a flipped class, it is the experience and interaction that happens with peers and teachers during the school day.

2 thoughts on “Three Example Flips

  1. Lisa says:

    What you’re describing is a student-centered classroom. This existed long before the term “flip” was applied to it.

    • Brian Bennett says:

      What allowed me to do this, though, was flipping. I wasn’t trained in building classes like this, and I needed a way to remove the lecture and allow for things like the activities I described above to happen. I did that by flipping.

      My class isn’t exactly like any of these, and we don’t even use these consistently in each unit. They are, however, examples of things that can and should be happening in flipped classrooms (or any class for that matter).

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