Science Sampler: Using the arts to enhance science learningby: Nancy Bort

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Over the years, the author has developed several lessons in which songs, arts and crafts, drama, and body motions are used to better facilitate student learning in life science. This article presents a sample of songs that correspond with a study of cell parts, mitosis, and DNA. The “Pin the Part on the Cell” activity and making DNA models from crepe paper, which are used in conjunction with the songs, are also described.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:42 AM

For teachers looking for creative ways to engage their students in learning cell parts and functions, this article provides some clever ideas. Just like Julie Andrews sang her song to help children take their medicine, this article shows how familiar song tunes can be used to help reinforce vocabulary and important concepts. “Sweet Betsy from Pike” and “London Bridges Falling Down” are used to help students remember cell parts and the steps of mitosis (the latter includes hand motions). My personal favorite was the DNA song sung to “Oh Christmas Tree”. Review games and DNA models are included in the article. For teachers looking for excellent ideas to engage their students in ways that make learning about cell concepts fun, this article is a gold mine!

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:21 AM

The author uses songs, arts and crafts, drama, and body motions to better implement student learning in life science. She provides a song, shows hand signals for mitosis, and art for cell structure. While some might find this approach corny, I have used it myself and find that students do remember these approaches when trying to recall information that seems foreign to their minds.

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

  • on Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:08 AM

“Pin the part on the cell” could be a great warm-up activity and pre-assessment for our upcoming cell unit. I am an intrepid singer, but once I know a group of people, I have no shame. The cell division song and movements could be good, silly fun, and the song format would certainly help students to remember the phases of cell division. The DNA colored-strips activity is great, too. None of these ideas are very complicated, nor do they require any special tools or materials. They all would help to reinforce students’ memory of the concepts they are learning.

Christina B
Christina B

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