Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:33 PM
Sowing the Seeds of Inquiry
In this article, the author explores the uses and history of the chia seed, while allowing students to explore and discover the concept of plant growth. It proves very useful, as well as creative, in that much of the material needed is inexpensive, therefore easy to come by for many teachers. Students learn about the components necessary for successful plant growth, explore the uses of chia seeds in terms of sustenance, and discover some of the implications the wide use of chia seeds would have on their community and the world. Chia seeds are incorporated into the concept of plant growth, and are also connected to economics, nutrition, geography, and history. As a result of the lesson in this article, students gain knowledge in the process of plant growth, as well as the benefits of plant growth to human sustenance.
Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:20 AM
The "Guts" of an Article: How to Teach It
This article addresses the need for students to be able to read and understand professional scientific journal articles, be able to identify the question of inquiry behind them, as well as create and share their own professional scientific journal writings. The authors describe three activities which aid students in the process of understanding and publishing scientific works: first, students analyze an article from a professional science journal, next, they analyze a journal abstract, and lastly, students independently compose an article, to be published and shared with classmates as well as placed in the school library as resource for others. Much of the multi-part project was based on student inquiry and personal interest, thus initiating and furthering student motivation in the project. Upon completion, the teachers involved created a postassessment, in which they measured student achievement, and in which the students shared their opinions of the experience. It was found that the vast majority of students found the experience to be very beneficial, in that they expressed feelings of it being an overall positive experience, and found that they were able to identify article authors' initial inquiry based questions, interests, etc. In the postassessment, teachers also found that the vast majority successfully completed all components of the project, and were able to identify signs of growth throughout the students' works. Reading professional journal articles adds a great amount of insight into a discipline, as does publication of one's own work, but it may not necessarily happen as often in schools, and certainly students are not exposed to it until later grades. This article showed a great example of successful integration of journal articles into the science curriculum, and provided practitioners with a very clear picture of how to make the integration possible in their own classrooms.