toolbox.jpg
Depth & Complexity
WHAT IS DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY?

DEPTH: Thinking about a topic on a deeper level- Understanding a topic on a deeper level.
COMPLEXITY: Thinking about the topic in a more complex way.

To teach depth and complexity is to invite students to venture further and engage more deeply with the material and subject and to identify and explore several aspects of the ideas or problem at hand. It is encouraging the students to make connections between and across time, curriculum, and disciplines and explore the perspectives, biases, and scope of the relevant issues.

DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY CHART
This chart identifies key questions, thinking skills, and dimensions of DEPTH or COMPLEXITY.



MORE LINKS
For more information, please explore these links.

VIDEOS

*Although depth & complexity are not meant solely for the academically gifted, Dr. Lafferty does a good job of summarizing Dr. Kaplan's chart on page 6 of her article.



EXAMPLES OF HOW DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY IS USED IN THE CLASSROOM

Science Example of a Depth and Complexity Cubing Activity for Ecosystems


LA Cubing Example of Literature Groups Activity with Depth and Complexity


LA Examples of Depth and Complexity being used in a warm-up and with expert groups



Example from a 6th grade classroom
Danita Anthony, a LA teacher from Northridge MS, promotes the use of Depth & Complexity tools.
She incoporated a cubing activity using the tools to develop questions for the activity. Students had to create a group poster to summarize their answers. The cube questions and an example of the student work is illustrated in the two pictures below.

Cubing Activity for Life Doesnt Frighten Me At All by Danita Anthony.JPG
Group work poster using Depth and Complexity tools from Cubing activity.JPG

Examples of depth and complexity from Dr. Barbara Ann Temple


Example of Depth Dimension identified in Sandra Kaplan's chart
A handy graphic that sparks thinking about how to differentiate by exploration through perspectives.


FLOWER OF DETAIL TEMPLATES AND EXAMPLES



Math Example from a MS Math class on proportions


HS Science Example
Ty Mervin-Eaton, a Science teacher from Harding HS, differentiates the content through readiness by heterogeneously grouping the students so that the flower is tiered. There are 5 members to a team in which one person is responsible for a petal. Each group thinks about the content from a different viewpoint. The LEP/ESL students chose details (easiest). The High Fliers were assigned to the function and value petals (more challenging). The three pictures below illustrate the students' work.
DNA Flower of Detail Example.JPG
DNA Details Petal.JPG

DNA Function Petal.JPG

Click on the red tool box at the top of this page to return to the Differentiation home page of this wiki.