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HELP. Lessons to leave for a non scientist

Discussion in 'Science' started by alfredrussell, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. alfredrussell

    alfredrussell New commenter

    As a result of circumstances beyond my control I find myself looking for help. I need to leave materials and lessons for a group of 24 very bright 13 year olds. There are two lessons of 70 minutes each on consecutive days. The class has only had a couple of lessons on food covering basic photosynthesis and starch. The topic stretches over the next 10 weeks.
    Problem. I have to go out of school at short notice for the two days and leave work for this class to do. They will, in all likelhood be covered by a non scientist.
    Has anyone any ideas of something vaguely foody that would keep them busy for the time. Remember, they are bright
    Many thanks
     
  2. alfredrussell

    alfredrussell New commenter

    As a result of circumstances beyond my control I find myself looking for help. I need to leave materials and lessons for a group of 24 very bright 13 year olds. There are two lessons of 70 minutes each on consecutive days. The class has only had a couple of lessons on food covering basic photosynthesis and starch. The topic stretches over the next 10 weeks.
    Problem. I have to go out of school at short notice for the two days and leave work for this class to do. They will, in all likelhood be covered by a non scientist.
    Has anyone any ideas of something vaguely foody that would keep them busy for the time. Remember, they are bright
    Many thanks
     
  3. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I'd like other people to set my cover too, thing is it's part of my job, dull but perfectly within my capabilities.
     
  4. alfredrussell

    alfredrussell New commenter

    I agree totally. However I am just looking for ideas that would keep them engaged. I have plenty of stuff for a scientist to do, practical activities that follow our SoW etc. But, it is likely the cover teacher will not be a scientist and therefore practicals are out. Would you ask an RE or English teacher to organise and run Benedict's tests? I have to leave work and will do so. I am looking for any ideas that might improve the pupil's experience of the lessons.
     
  5. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Get a load of food labels and get them to present data on protein, fat and CHO content in different forms......say bar charts or pie charts.
    They can present this data as a poster to promote healthy eating.
    Simple but involves numeracy (pie charts in particular) and literacy.
    As an extension they could use internet to investigate how food manufacturers get the data on energy content of food and protein, fat and CHO analytical techniques (highe level stuff but good to challenge)
     
  6. I hated being asked to cover PE lessons, as the HoD almost always insisted I take them out and do things - very occassionally I would get paper exercises set BUT he often stated that if that was what I wanted then I should set them myself, and mark them!
    I asked PE HoD how he would feel if asked to supervise a Science practical and he said he would have no qualms - he was a "teacher"! He also assured me that his union subscription would cover him for any problems BUT I could never get the cover organiser to put him down, even though I said all I would ask him to do was heat water and record the change in temperature with time.
    You must make your own decisions in the light of what resources you have available. We often had a supply teaher who was an ex-Head of Science and he was more than happy to do practical work, even coming in the day before to check out the equipment! So first: see if you can find who IS covering your lesson.
    As stated by another, food lable analysis is good, and being open-ended, bright pupils should be able to rise to their own challenges.
     
  7. Roboteer

    Roboteer New commenter

    You can print out the nutritional details for all items that McDonald's sell from their website (or pick up copies of their tray liners if you go in store). You could then get the pupils to construct a range of menus that meet certain criteria for nutritional intake. The menus state %GDA under each category as well so you could extend to getting them to work out what the GDA is for each nutrient.
    If you are planning on looking at calculating calorific values of foods a bit later on then getting them to investigate how manufacturers do this could be useful.
    I have also had my year 8 class constructing a range of menus for different meals. They have had to construct both a healthy and unhealthy version and then explain why each meal falls into the category.
    Hope that gives you a few ideas - having to set lots of cover is a bit draining on the old brain cells I agree!
     
  8. alfredrussell

    alfredrussell New commenter

    It's not the setting work. You have to do that anyway. It's the two lessons in two days that would bore them to bits with pure theory. That then puts the course out of kilter because they have done some bits of paperwork without the practical etc.
    Anyway thanks for the couple of ideas. I have stuff planned now incorporating some of the ideas. By the way, we are using internal cover for this 100+ staffin the school so could be anyone and we will not know until 8:30 on Monday morning by which time I will be away!
     
  9. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    If you left practical work for a non specialist you could be in hot water (no pun intended). Likewise if you are taking a PE lesson and you are not PE trained then you could also be in trouble if someone got hurt. I seem to recall a case from some years back where a Chemistry teacher was taking a rugby match, the teacher was a player but did not have coaching or reffing badges. A kid broke his neck in the scrum! Even something as innocuous as Rounders has its risks, getting a non specialist to use bunsen burners to heat water! A no no in my book.
     
  10. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    The food labels is a good one. How abaout getting them to plan some meals and menus to provide perople with a balanced diet. Perhaps they could try and plan balanced meals that would appeal to youngsters or pensioners?
     
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Whatever you leave make sure that is does not involve you having to mark it! Perhaps they could do it for display?
     
  12. Relating to the food labels ideas - I used to get the variety pack cereals for them to get the data for nutritional content. I made sure to include some of the "healthy" cereals too (might have to use the big packets as they're not often in the variety packs.)
    They had to establish which cereals were really the best and create an Ad or documentary style output. (paper-based, video or audio) to sell the benefits.
    Depending on the group, you might think about taking the cereals out of the boxes first, or it could degenerate into the mad hatter's teaparty ;-)
    Comparing "Low-fat" foods to the ones was interesting too as they usually compensate by including a lot more sugar.
    If they have access to ICT (and are able to use it) they could do some useful analysis in Excel.
     
  13. There used to be a really good resource on the UPD8 website called Bushtucker Trial, and it was based around "I'm A Celebrity". They had to design menus using the information available about nutrition content of bush food like grubs and the like. Lots of numeracy.
    You could extend it by saying that one of your celebs is pregnant, older, younger, has a broken leg as these people have slightly different nutritional needs.
    Should keep them busy for one lesson at least, they get to work in pairs or small groups and they can assess each others work. Bingo, no marking (other than maybe a quick look at some of their work).
     
  14. Mot my specialist are but.....

    So I watched the Jamie Olver food revoloution US, he took a load of food into a classroom and let the kids eat what they wanted.

    He then took them out ad made them walk around the running track to burn off what they had eaten. Could you do something like that? It is a practical but anybody could do it if you leave a sheet with the calorific value of foods, so you incorporate some numeracy with thwm adding up what they have eaten.
    Something I've done with FE groups, as individuals or small groups they are given a subject, they have 30 mins to research, 10 mins prep and then 5 mins per group to present what they have learned to the rest of the class.
    I did this with an equalifty and diversity unit and used pairs, each pair had to research a given religeon, you could leave instructions that a specialist in another area can quickly pick up, if it is a PE teacher they investigate foods for sports performanc, if it is an RE / social studies teacher then different restrictions on diet acording to religeon, if it is a history teacher what foods were eaten in defferent historical times, geography where plants are grown and why ie why don't we grow rice in the UK and potatoes are not popular in some countries. English food in literature/ food metaphors. You get the idea.
    It might not strictly be science but you know what you have to cover when you get back.

     

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