Methods and Strategies: The Teaching-With-Analogies Modelby: Shawn Glynn

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Teachers often use analogies and are unaware of it—they are using them automatically. Whenever they begin an explanation with “It’s just like…,” “It’s similar to…,” or “Think of it this way…,” they are using an analogy to explain a concept to their students. An analogy is a similarity between concepts. Analogies can help students build conceptual bridges between what is familiar and what is new. Often, new concepts represent complex, hard-to-visualize systems with interacting parts (e.g., a cell, an ecosystem, photosynthesis).

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Reviews (5)
  • on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:18 PM

This is an excellent article that uses legos to help young learners explore cells. Using legos as a launching point, this article describes using the "building blocks" analogy to teach students that cells are the building blocks of life. This is an excellent article that will surely help young students understand that cells are the building blocks of life.

Maureen Stover  (Fayetteville, NC)
Maureen Stover (Fayetteville, NC)

  • on Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:22 PM

This article is really good. It shows how teachers use analogies everyday without even knowing it. It also gives a 6 step model for teaching with Analogies. I like that the model can even be applied to lab activities. In labs, I would assume students where getting the connections between the lab and the content and am latter surprised after reviewing a test that they really did not understand what they were doing. Using this Six Steps in the Teaching with Analogies model will help me make sure that the students see the connections between the lab and the concepts the labs are trying to reinforce. This article is a must read for all teachers. Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!

LeRoy A
LeRoy A

  • on Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:33 AM

Methods and Strategies: The Teaching-With-Analogies Model

tumini dahlan  (bandung, )
tumini dahlan (bandung, )

  • on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:51 PM

This article presents a sample of how to teach using the analogies approach. It also explains how this can be done by any teacher by following the six steps presented in the article. Also provided in this article is an analogy-based activity. The one described is parts of a cell. There are many such examples for cells available on the Internet. This reader would like to see an analogy for something other than the cell to further explain how the method is used.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:01 PM

Analogies are good ways to explain a concept but just as the article stated it sometimes can create misconceptions. I use them in my class but I have several student explain how they believe the analogy relates to the concept.

Nikki T
Nikki T

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