DOC

Download P42_50a Writing activities - Online Resource for

By Greg Knight,2014-05-27 18:49
8 views 0
Download P42_50a Writing activities - Online Resource for

Download P4.2_5.0a ‘Writing activities’

    Writing Activities

    Pupils don’t usually enjoy writing, especially if they have no ownership of what they write. Many may happily copy things down a task requiring little mental effort, and which allows

    them to dream happily of what they’ll do that evening after school. We can, however, use pupil

    writing more creatively, to enable them to make sense of the science they do. Some ideas follow, suitable for primary and secondary.

    Having introduced these ideas to trainees they must then demonstrate they can use them. The Active Learning assignment (secondary) and the Learning in Science assignment (primary) at

    the end of this web unit (downloads 6.1 and 6.2) both encourage students to avoid giving writing activities to pupils unless they have first allowed their pupils to ‘talk things through’.

    Ideally in primary school writing activities will be undertaken as part of the literacy programme, leaving the science sessions free for gaining experiences, experimentation and discussion.

    Traditionally much lesson time is spent writing accounts of ‘experiments’. In order to ensure accuracy, we resorted to asking pupils to ‘write up’ experiments in a standard way, often giving them help by dictating bits or writing them on the whiteboard. Is it necessary for every bit of practical experience to be written up in this way, even if we do include an aim and predictions

    to go alongside the method, results and conclusion? There are many reasons for allowing pupils

    to experience things practically, but, of these, only full or partial investigations need to be written up as investigations. More often the practical details are unimportant, and can cause confusion. A written record could focus on the scientific ideas that are being challenged or illustrated, or on the

    description of a phenomenon. Ideally the written record, if needed at all, can be given as a DART (see download 4).

Creative writing some pitfalls and problems

    Published written work has to go through several drafts before going to press. The first ‘draft’ is likely to be a verbal discussion about what you intend to say. Writing in school science needs to go through the same process begin by asking the pupils to tell each other what they predict,

    what they saw, what happened, etc. They may then be ready to express their own thoughts in their writing, or at primary level, be ready to allow a teacher to scribe for them.

The important factor, as always, is the audience (Sutton 1992, Chapter 10). Pupils writing for

    us as a teacher-as-examiner will wonder if they ‘have got it right’. But if they are writing for a newspaper, their younger brother, the class that follows, or a web page, their sense of ownership gives them confidence to write what they really understand and believe. This may, of course, contain misconceptions and creative writing is a good elicitation technique too but

    This document can be freely copied and amended if used for educational purposes. It must not be used for commercial gain. The author(s) and web source must be acknowledged whether used as it stands or whether adapted in any way.

    <Writing activities> Authored by Keith Ross and Colleagues, University of Gloucestershire; accessed from

    http://www.ase.org.uk/sci-tutors/ date created February 2005. Page 1

Download P4.2_5.0a ‘Writing activities’

    better they expose their misconceptions early than produce writing which isn’t theirs and which they don’t understand. Pupils may need two notebooks – one for drafting and another for

    finished work. For those with a laptop the drafting can be done straight onto the computer, but it is worth asking them to save their first drafts. This provides evidence that it is their work, and it is encouraging for the pupils to see the progress they made from initial ideas to finished work.

Learning logs, Concept maps, Poems, films, cartoons, posters, web pages...

    Creative writing provides opportunity for the pupils to express their ideas (and make mistakes). Whether you ask them to write the film script, a cartoon strip, a scientific report for a ‘conference’, a poster for the science room wall or a web page for the school intranet, the message is the same. Pupils will be writing for an audience other than their teachers, and will take ownership of the task. However they will make conceptual errors and we need to point these out while praising their creative efforts. We need to warn our student teachers not to set these writing tasks too often they must be marked for they will contain interesting

    misconceptions, and marking takes time.

    This lesson involved pure discussion. After

    discovering the

    same things, we compared our thoughts or

    conclusions and tried to come up with an agreed

    theory. Certain things were simple, and we all

    had the same ideas, such as light travelling in

    straight lines.

    But others proved more and more confusing.

    You feel your theory makes sense, until you

    hear someone else's idea, and then you can see

    the logic in that too.

    Light was also compared to sound. How did

    they differ, how do they travel? So many

    questions answered in such different yet logical

    ways! It makes you wonder if there is a real

    answer?

    Learning log written by a Key Stage 4 pupil after a lesson on Light (from Figure 10.2 Ross at al., 2004)

    This document can be freely copied and amended if used for educational purposes. It must not be used for commercial gain. The author(s) and web source must be acknowledged whether used as it stands or whether adapted in any way.

    <Writing activities> Authored by Keith Ross and Colleagues, University of Gloucestershire; accessed from

    http://www.ase.org.uk/sci-tutors/ date created February 2005. Page 2

    Download P4.2_5.0a ‘Writing activities’

    Concept map of someone who understands the constructive process of burning (Figure 10.3 from Ross at al

    2004)

    Based on extracts from Chapter 10 Children learning through writing (pp 73-78) of

    Ross, K., Lakin, E. and Callaghan, P. (2004) Teaching Secondary Science. (Second edition)

    London: David Fulton

    Ref:

    Sutton C. R. (1992) Words, Science and Learning Buckingham: Open Univ. Press

    This document can be freely copied and amended if used for educational purposes. It must not be used for commercial gain. The author(s) and web source must be acknowledged whether used as it stands or whether adapted in any way.

    <Writing activities> Authored by Keith Ross and Colleagues, University of Gloucestershire; accessed from

    http://www.ase.org.uk/sci-tutors/ date created February 2005. Page 3

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com