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Exercises facilitating reading and writing
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Partnerzy | Partners


Poland | Polska


Romania | Rumunia


Italy | Włochy


Turkey | Turcja


Sponsor

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Exercises facilitating reading and writing


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This various exercises primarily focus on writing short texts. These exercises aim at facilitating the comprehending of concepts in a humorous and engaging way. Moreover, carrying out these exercises necessarily involves working in small groups and discussing.

Combined sentences

The class is divided into groups of three and the students are assigned the labels A, B, and C. The task is to create cards, and sentences that are based on these cards. Student A writes down at least five items (sponge, ice cream cone, ...) and on the reverse side the letter A. Student B in turn writes on the cards at least five magnitudes (time, length, ...) and on the reverse side the letter B. Similarly, student C jots down on the pieces of paper at least five verbs (walk, float, ...) and on the reverse side C. These cards are organised in three piles at the table. Each student takes one of each cards, A, B, and C, respectively, and tells the rest of the group a sentence that features the words indicated on the cards. (While floating on the lake I measured the time it took to consume an ice cream cone.) The best sentences are shared with the rest of the class. The class may also organise a competition on who needs the least connecting words to create an intelligible sentence.

Word-associations

The class is divided into groups of three. The students’ task is to think about what two connected words have in common. No easy answers, such as “both have two syllables” or “both are human artefacts” are accepted. The goal is to find the most innovative uniting factors. It can be also agreed that the common ground needs to be established in the field of physics in some way. For instance, the word-pair car wheel – rubber boot could be combined by saying that both provide a firm grip on the road surface which enables movement. The student groups compete with each other in the number of the uniting factors they come up with.

Car wheel – rubber boot
Ladder – clock
Bicycle – snail
Coat – parachute
Pear – spoon

Sayings

The class is divided into groups of four and the students are assigned the labels A, B, C, and D. The task involves creating cards and sentences on the basis of the cards. Students A and B both write on the cards five items or phenomena that generate sound (clock, flute, running water, ...) and on the reverse side number 1. Similarly, students C and D write on cards five adjectives that describe sound (whistling, murmuring ...) and on the reverse side number 2. The cards are organised at the table the number side facing up. Students take turns in taking one card at a time from both 1- and 2-piles and try to create an understandable sentence on the basis of the cards in 15 seconds. (The running water murmurs in the brook.) If the sentence is comprehensible, the student gets to keep the cards. If not, the cards are returned. After this the next student chooses two cards and creates a sentence. The winner is the student who has the highest number of cards at the end of the game.

Poems

It is possible to create poems on both physics and chemistry, either free verse poems or formal ones, such as haikus or tankas. In particular, a technique called cinquaine serves well this purpose; namely, this type of poem features five lines that are constructed by following the orders listed below:

Line 1: A word that characterises the essence of the entity or phenomenon to be described.
Line 2: Two verbs that describe the activity of the entity or phenomenon.
Line 3: Three adjectives that describe the nature of the entity or phenomenon.
Line 4: A four-word sentence that represents the gist of the poem (the backbone).
Line 5: A final word that summarises what has been stated above.

For instance, if the poem dealt with physics, this is what the poem could look like:


Physics
Twisting, winding
Difficult, energy-consuming, exciting
When will I get it?
Tomorrow!


Drawing instructions

Exercises that take after the following description may be carried out on the following topics, among other things: a chart schematising the functioning principles of an optical gadget, a chart displaying an industrial production process, a chart featuring a chemical reaction.

Create the written instructions for sketching a chart visualising the operating of a hydroelectric power plant. Read these instructions then to your partner and ask him or her to sketch a detailed drawing on the basis of the instructions, not on the basis of previous knowledge. Compare the drawing to a model found in a course book or some other source. Improve the drawing to eliminate possible shortcomings. Which essential elements were missing from the drawing? Which essential points were not mentioned when giving the instructions? What should have been rephrased?

Joint essays

The class is divided into groups of four and the students sit at the table, two people facing each other. The task is to create an essay on “light”. Each student writes on their notebooks the first sentence. Then the handbooks are handed over to the person on the right hand side. He or she in turn reads the first sentence and writes the next one. Once the teacher gives the cue, the notebook is again handed over to the person on the right hand side who reads the previous sentences and writes the following one. This is continued until the teacher asks the students to come up with an appropriate closing sentence. Finally, each student reads out loud the text featured in his or her notebook. At the end, each group chooses the story that is read for the rest of the class.

Metaphors and sayings

The following exercise aims at facilitating the understanding of concepts and relaxing the atmosphere in class. This exercise may well be supplemented by creating a pantomime on the metaphor. In addition, the concepts of physics and chemistry may be transformed into sayings, such as, “in the extremely hot sauna I got extremely hot”.

Create metaphoric expressions on moods or feelings that comprise a concept involving temperature, such as “I’m as happy as bubbly boiling water”.

“Sour said the fox of rowan berries”

Collaborative stories

The class is divided into groups of four and the students are assigned the labels A, B, C, and D. The task involves creating a story. Student A comes up with the characters (3-6) and their characteristics, whereas student B decides the time and place. Student C in turn invents a story line that involves household electricity chores (the fuse has blown...) and student D thinks of the morale of the story. Each student works independently for ten minutes so that nobody has an idea of what the others have come up with. Finally, everybody shares their ideas and this results in creating the final story and sharing it with the rest of the class.

Questions

Each student comes up with five questions dealing with radioactivity or radiation and jots these questions down. Half of the class writes their names on a piece of paper and these are placed in a box. The rest draw lots on whom they get as their pair. The students then ask each other questions and answer these questions. It can be agreed that the questions have to somehow deal with finding cover from radiation, utilising radiation, nuclear power plants, the healing applications of radiation, and so on.


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