Chemistry

Teaching Science Vocabulary

Hi Science Friends! Does anyone have any interactive or best practices for teaching science vocabulary?

Danielle Ryan
Danielle Ryan
70 Activity Points

I have my high school students (including ESL) create a 5 minute podcast about one Science concept. They are on "All This Science" https://www.spreaker.com/show/all-this-science Cheers, Dr. C (Marshall)

Marsh Carroll
Marsh Carroll
169 Activity Points

My mother - who is also an educator - taught me this valuable lesson regarding teaching vocabulary. It takes 17+ exposures to a word to cement its meaning! I ensure that students are exposed to the word many times in multiple ways (hearing it, seeing it in the textbook and other course materials, writing it in their assignments, etc.). I teach online college science courses - I use bold font for the key vocabulary to further emphasize the term. 

 

https://www.thoughtco.com/vocabulary-reps-4135612 

Emily Faulconer
Faulconer
3290 Activity Points

Hello! It depends on what grade we are teaching science vocabulary to. If this is for older middle school students, I would definitley say that a sort of memory game would be fun and interactive. You could place post-it notes on, for example, the tools in a science lab, and have the students study them. After they've studied it, you can remove the post-its and they can go around and name tools or any other scientific phenomena that you might have on display.

Yuliana Quiroz
Yuliana Quiroz
190 Activity Points

I found this picture online and thought it was a great idea and way to learn science vocabulary.

Attachments

Sarah Kimbro
Sarah Kimbro
1675 Activity Points

Danielle, 

I am completing a graduate course right now where we spent a week talking about vocabulary instruction and ideas for how to do that. I would check out trying to do a word wall, either as an entire class or individualized. If you check out the below website it has some information about what this might look like in a science classroom. 

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/word_walls

Katharine Shroyer
Katharine Shroyer
40 Activity Points

Commenting from the Webinar!

Carili Rubiera
Carili Rubiera
4145 Activity Points

Hello! This is a great resource for acquiring new knowledge about science!

Ayodele Shofoluwe
Ayodele Shofoluwe
545 Activity Points

Vocabulary in science is such an integral part that so many educators leave out. I'd love to see a link helping with on this!

Vivian Del Cid
Vivian Del Cid
3265 Activity Points

Hi Vivian, It's true that teaching vocabulary in science is an integral part of understanding and it should not be left out. There are multiple strategies that can be used to help student acquire. Here are a couple of strategies I use with my high schoolers. For every unit, I decide on ten to twelve words that are essential vocabulary that will be needed for a student to have maximum understanding of the subject matter. I share these words with my resource room teacher prior to the start of the unit so that he or she can help preteach vocabulary to students that are on an individualized education plan (IEP). At the beginning of the year, I have all of my students make a science lab notebook. One of the sections in the back of the notebook is a glossary of the essential vocabulary. At the beginning of every lesson, I introduce one of those terms that best relate to lesson. My students then define that term using the [url=http://www.theteachertoolkit.com/index.php/tool/frayer-model]Frayer method[/url]. An example of one of my student's notebooks can be found [url=https://betterlesson.com/lesson/resource/3173388/essential-vocabulary]here[/url]. One reason I like the Frayer method as a strategy to teach vocabulary is that it allows for multiple ways to use the word. We define it, use it in a sentence, and draw a picture or [url=http://thesciencepenguin.com/2013/12/science-solutions-vocabulary.html]word drawing[/url] representing that word. We can also give an opposite of the word, examples of the word if it is a general term used to describe more specific words, or establish some word play to help students remember a specific concept. This exercise should generally take between three to five minutes. Another method that sometimes proves helpful in addition to the Frayer method is the teaching of [url=http://www.teach-nology.com/worksheets/language_arts/prefix/]Latin and Greek prefixes, root words, and suffixes[/url]. Once students have learned to recognize certain common root words as well as their accompanying suffixes and prefixes, they have a best chance of inferring the meaning of unknown science terms. Here's an [url=http://www.osymigrant.org/ROMBeginningMiddleandEnd.pdf]example[/url] of several common root words, but if you do an simple Internet search you can find more. You can also define your essential vocabulary in terms of root words. The use of concept maps are nice when trying to show relationships between words so that students can understand how the use of multiple essential vocabulary helps explain a concept. The Learning Center has several great resources that discuss the use of concept maps in the science classroom. This is one [url=https://web.stanford.edu/dept/SUSE/SEAL/Reports_Papers/Vanides_CM.pdf]example[/url]. Cloze Reading is another strategy that is best described as fill-in-the-blank. This has been a tried and true strategy used by both foreign language and science instructors alike. It provides students with a list of essential vocabulary and a reading passage to complete. Here is an [url=https://betterlesson.com/community/document/2459299/cloze-ing-in-on-science-pdf]example[/url]. Putting it all Together is an exercise I use as a way to summarizes a lesson and have students reinforce the concept they are learning while using the essential vocabulary. Students are given a writing prompt and several essential vocabulary terms which to use. They complete this exercise in their lab notebooks and turn it in as an exit ticket. I use their responses to gauge their understanding so I know where best to proceed the following day. For example, after a lesson about photosynthesis, I might ask students to explain the main goal of photosynthesis using the following words: oxygen, carbon dioxide, light, water, and plants. Students might respond with something like the following: Plants use light, water, and carbon dioxide to make their own food. Oxygen is produced as a by-product of photosynthesis. However, there are many way to use the words to show understanding. In my opinion, it is best for educators to pull from many of these instructional strategies as using only one or two tends to limited the depth of student understanding and, of course, they should be used in conjunction with other methods of best practices so that teachers aren't just teaching rote memorization skills. How do other teachers tackle vocabulary with their classes?

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
62750 Activity Points

Hi Danielle! Recently, I taught my first science lesson and from my own discoveries, the more interactive the better. For example, my class was learning about sound waves. They learned by creating their own sound waves. Students stuck tuning forks in bowls of water and watched the water vibrate. They really enjoyed this. Most students learn by doing an participating. Therefore, I would teach new vocabulary by having the students be apart of the vocabulary.

Anna Snowden
Anna Snowden
320 Activity Points

Hi Danielle! When reading up on it, I found a resource that seems like it might be pretty helpful for introducing new vocabulary, especially for ELL students! The source talks about using multisensory strategies in order to help increase understanding of new science vocabulary. I think incorporating all 5 senses when teaching any subject is important, but especially in science! I think this resource will help you find ways to use touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound in your classroom when teaching new vocal to your students. I hope this helps! http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc08_046_04_32

Danielle Pinto
Danielle Pinto
400 Activity Points

Hello - I use quizlet for my students 7-12 for studying for tests.   Quizlet allows the students to set up a free site that they can input their vocabulary words or information and create a variety of study methods.   I have the students create their own quizlets to help imprint the information and also in a format that they will utilize best to study.

Raquel Dugan-Dibble
Raquel Dugan-Dibble
1120 Activity Points

I use the correct vocabulary from day one. The first 1-2 weeks, I introduce my students to the chemistry lab, equipment, and mathematics we will use. In doing so, I do a chemistry glassware, equipment, etc. survey-i.e. I put out the equipment we will use for the year and each day they are to familize themselves with it-i.e. what is it called, what is it function, what lab would we use it in, etc. Then I go over the mathematics, introducing units, dimensional analysis, etc. and introduce vocabulary that way since we are just doing math with chemistry content. 

I also have the luxury of small classes so I have students help set up and take down labs; this increases their familiarity with equipment and vocabulary. 

And I have a word wall as well as a I wonder wall for students to ask questions-yes even at the high school level, it is interesting to see what my students come up with. The word wall also must show the word and what is connects to so test tube is actually written like a test tube, stoichiometry isn't as easy.

Bev DeVore-Wedding
Bev Bev DeVore-Wedding
4528 Activity Points

Danielle,

 

As my students are investigating phenomena, I will post a "Sounds of Science" word list that I hear the students using. I will sing, "The lab is alive with the sound of science." (Sung to the tune of "The hills are alive with the sound of music.) That is a signal that a new word is being used, and we need to take time to discuss it. I will ask the student, "What does that word mean?" Then I assess their explanation and make corrections as needed. If they are using the word correctly, I will ask the student to teach it to the other students. Sometimes, when I use a new word, the kids will sing! It is very entertaining but very powerful. 

Judith Boyle
Judith Boyle
475 Activity Points

In my experience, for students to understand and use new words, they also need to hear and say them. Sometimes what students wrote had little in common with the actual word. They could recognize the word in written material and match it to a definition, but many had difficulty pronouncing the word, generating the word in oral conversations, or using it in their writing.

I shared my dilemma with an elementary level colleague. He suggested that for more complex or unfamiliar words, have the students repeat the new word several times out loud, emphasizing the syllables by clapping out each syllable: met-a-mor-pho-sis. I tried this with my middle and high school classes, and it did help them with pronunciation and spelling. (Be prepared for some eye-rolling at first with secondary students, so explain why you are asking them to do this.)  -- Mary B

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
9570 Activity Points

As you can see from the various posts here, there are many different and fun ways to make science vocabulary words come alive!

Find one that grabs your interest and go from there.  If that doesn't work out, there are many more to fall back on ;-)

Quyen Han
Quyen Han
8830 Activity Points

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