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making it fun?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Woozle, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Respiration/circulation:

    Choose 2 kids for leg muscles, 2 for lungs, 2 for heart, 1 for the brain, + other organs as you wish. Arrange them around the room. 2 are the red blood cells travelling around the body. Lungs have a store of "oxygen" (poly balls or other unbreakable objects) which they supply to the blood as it passes by. Blood then needs pumping, so visits heart. Then to muscles, brain etc. where it hands over oxygen. Then needs pumping again, so back to heart. Then needs oxygen, so off to lungs to replenish supplies. Hopefully the brain can give instructions once you've got it going.
  2. good stuff galdriel

    need rocks topic made fun - any suggestions??

    ms p
  3. Really enjoying this thread. Thanks folks!
    Have you checked the ASE website recently? THey've got a thing called UPD8 that's sent out weekly with hot topics and fun ideas of using them. There was a ballon game on the eruption of Stromboli and other ideas for 10 min starter activities.

    I've taught concentration of poisons as you go up the food chain by giving little cards with skull and crossbones to 20'plants', eaten by 6 'caterpillars', eaten by 3 'thrush', eaten by 1 hawk (or whatever foodchain you like). Then count how many units of poison the fox has eaten.
    Keep posting.
  4. For 'fox' read 'hawk' - sorry!
  5. quasi

    you very nearly made me look very silly today!!

    Since you reminded me of bunny ears I found my pair and was wearing them in a year 11 lesson - they're used to my little ways - when a call came that there was a big fight in the art block. Leaving my class with teacher from next door I sprinted outside and couldn't understand why year 11 were all banging on window and wiggling fingers on their heads. Yes, I still had my ears on - can just imagine scene - mad bunny ears wearing teacher breaks up fight.

    year 11 wish to pass on grateful thanks for best laugh they've had all day

    ms p
  6. I'm getting quite into this. Found myself rushing up and down the lab today with an imaginary supermarket trolley, heaving it round corners, trying to stop before I crashed into the wall, yelling "how would it be if it was loaded with crisps/ bottle of drink" (demonstrating f=ma of course)
  7. it's true galadriel - I had yr 8 class sharing and eating an imaginary bar of choclate - they all solemnley unwrapped thier piece and chewed with great expressions of satisfaction! Strange!!!
  8. Ms Phys - my aplogies!! Have done this myself - along with forgetting to take safety goggles off and wandering around school, and on one occasion - leaving my lab coat on and going and queing for a bus outside school on the way home - many looks from the rest of the line.
    I'm still thinking on rocks. It's worth having a look at ESTA (earth science association) material, they can be contacted at http://www.esta-uk.org/. There is also free (travel expenses only) INSET on Earth Science available from somewhere - I'll try and scout out the flyer again.
    One revision demo that I do for part of the rock cycle is as follows (you will need - several pieces of chalk, a heat proof mat, safety screens a 250ml beaker or water, a 100ml beaker and a hammer). The class should know the rock cycle already, and should be encouraged to talk/shout you through the cycle - ie you act dumb sometimes. Here we go...
    'Right you lot starting with a piece of this rock (chalk) talk me through the rock cycle'...'ok weathering and erosion, we haven't got time for it to happen so we'll speed it up' (hit chalk, which is on mat, repeatedly with hammer whilst grinning manicly - safety screens up). 'Great I enjoyed that - now transportation' (wash chalk dust down into large beaker of water)'now we can see it settling, (pause) boring too slow, that's enough of that, now we have cementation this normally takes a very long time and a lot of pressure but...(ram small beaker into large beaker, water sprays out compacted chalk dust is left at the bottom), and look here we have a new sedimentary rock at the bottom of the sea...now if the earth
    moved up...
    Sorry about the overlong script here - can anyone take the cycle further, hope it's useful.
  9. Firstly, thanks to everyone for all the great ideas. I'm fairly new at this and they've been really helpful.
    Don't know if this counts as fun but I use the following analogy to help kids understand how temperature affects reaction rates:

    I have some objects on my desk and tell pupils that they all cost £50 (activation energy). All the pupils have different amounts of money so some of them can afford the objects and some of them can't (different amounts of energy). If I gave them all some more money (heated the particles) more of them would be able to afford the objects. Can be extended to Catalysis by saying that you are having a sale and lowering the price (lowering activation energy).
    I have only done this verbally, but it could be extended by having bits of paper to represent money.
  10. I like it schrodingerscat. Thanks, similaryl have you seen the anlalogy for how an enzyme works over on the catalysis question thread (page 2) by 'sci' - worth a look.
    Another good one (sometimes) for chemical reations and dissolving is to extend the 'pupils line up in rows to form a solid, move around a bit to be a liquid and run around a lot to be a gas' analogy/demonstration that many schools do. For example - British bulldog dissolving; one bunch of kids form the solid (arms lightly on the shoulders of their fellow members - ie no gripping, regular pattern, vibrating gently). Another bunch are the liquid, the liguid is given a specified speed to move at (eg you are cool - pigeon toe walking, you are getting warmer - normal walking pace, very warm - walking fast, hot - running safely) their job is to dissolve the solid by collding with it - dislodging a arm (teacher adjudicates on this) means that bit of the solid has been dissolved, and moves away (outer ones of course being dissolved first). You run this at several 'temperatures' - getting more frenetic each time. If you want to adapt it to show a reaction happening - when you dislodge an arm it must link to the person who dislodged it - and both students walk away. WARNING - this can get stupid, pick your kids with care!!!

    Another unrelated fun idea - for any labelling exercise - is pin the label on the diagram. 2 teams in the class, each has a blindfolded member and a helper for that person, the rest of a team are 'screamers' - 2 identical diagrams on the board, and 2 sets of labels for them on paper with a bit of bluetac to stick to the board on the back (one set for each team). When you say GO the helpers give each blindfolded person the first label - screamers tell them where to put it. First team to complete wins - Good revision exercise or a starter derived from the lesson before. 5 minutes of loads of noise - and practice on giving accurate instructions.
  11. Quasi I love it I'm off to make my bindfolds now!!

    One method I have used to demonstrate evaporation on a sunny and windy day is pick a pupil to be a pair of wet pants.. (or any other item of clothing) They hold straws or any other small items. The straws are droplets of water. Other pupils are wind molecules. Several wind molecules crowd around the pants and take one water drop, but as there's no wind only a few can reach. Then it starts to get windy and other wind molecules can pass by and take a water droplet away, thus drying the wet pants.
  12. At last , an opportunity to get pants out in class!! Hurray, love the ideas.

    Try magnetic board and mag strips on laminted card for labels too.
  13. I've finally gone nuts and there are photo's to prove it. Trying to revise predator prey cycles with yr 12 they would not understand so resulted to crocodile and rabbit glove puppets, and 'Mr snappy eats Mr flopsy' so pop declines, 'Mr snappy starves', and 'Mr Flopsy does what bunnies do best so pop increases' we then edited the graph the puppets had drawn on the board to explain biological control (Aphids and ladybugs). Only problem little voice said 'but miss' I turn round glove puppets raised and click! A curse on the A level photography teacher.
  14. I agree, puppets are wonderful, to pontificate for a moment, I think a big advantage of them is that you can use them to speak to a pupil with a different 'voice/manner' than you usually would. I've seen a puppet used with 'difficult to control pupils' telling them to 'shutup and listen noodlebrain' (whether this is right or not is another manner) - where if the teacher had 'really' said that the kid would be outraged. There is immense amounts of fun to be had with having a hand puppet looking at pupils work and talking to them about its quality (some shy pupils respond better this way than talking directly to the teacher), another favourite is to let the puppet mock whisper into your ear, 'oh no (puppets name) I couldn't do that to them...' rarely fails to get a giggle.
    Like everything else - you pick your times, classes and individual kids, but it can be a fun part of a teachers reportoire (pontification ends - red wine and curry starts)
  15. Perhaps not one for the squeamish - but there's a lot of fun to be had with a chicken foot - pull the tendon - watch it close on a childs finger. Similarly a good butcher will give you a cow leg bone with the knee joint still on it, move it around to show how it works.
  16. Nearly at the 100 now people - don't give up!!!

    If you want something a bit more interactive go to the chatroom -

    ( will put link in next box!!!!)

    post a message on the subjects board on 'science- making it fun' to say which night of the week would suit you for a chat and lets go for it next week-but don't stop posting on here!
  17. http://groups.msn.com/teachersuk
  18. This is totally brilliant, I'm so glad I found this place, and I wish I'd had some of you teaching ME science! My science teachers were good, but not this much fun!

    I'm a PGCE student and why oh why don't we learn all this kind of stuff at Uni, instead of boring lectures on pointless theory *yawns*. This would be SOOOO much more useful.

    I've copy/pasted loads of ideas. I'm teaching particle theory to Year 7 right now, so I might try Izzy the Ice Cube. I'm also teaching Health and Fitness (Y9) and Microbes and Disease (Y8), so if anyone has any brilliant suggestions I'm very receptive!

    Ooh, here's one good one that we did do at Uni. You've probably all seen it before but hey, I'm new ;-) At Uni it was to demonstrate transmission of STDs. I reckon you could modify it a bit for other diseases (might steal the Sex Ed teacher's thunder though).

    Each pupil gets a beaker of clear liquid, which represents their bodily fluids. One or two beakers have an STD (they're sodium hydroxide solution or something else that reacts with an indicator). The pupils have to "swap bodily fluids" with other pupils in the class. They do this by pouring the contents of their beaker into the other person's and then the other person pouring half back into theirs. With younger kids, you can just tell them to swap with up to three other people on the basis that they will probably have sexual encounters with three different people by the time they're, say, 21. With older kids (sixth formers say) you can get them to play roles: "ok, you're a promiscuous bisexual, you're a virgin who intends to stay that way, you're in a committed relationship with this person here, you're out for a one night stand". At the end, crack open the indicator and see who's 'infected'. Very effective (especially when the people in the 'committed relationship' get infected ;-).

  19. katstreet

    have not seen that one before and it is going straight into my scheme of work - thank you!!!

    New and experienced teachers have got tons to offer each other!!

    rather than getting them just to look at graphs, tables, etc, cut them up into jigsaw pieces so that in groups they have to rearrange info so that it makes sense, either because it looks right - graphs, say, or because they do research with books, internet, to put it back right eg info on planets. Makes them THINK!!!!
  20. Katsreet - nice one, nicking that one to go in Sex Ed (along with the bananan and condom gag - how fast can Y11 put one on the banana with the lights turned down - even more fun if you pick the 'hardest kid in the year, and start saying things like 'are you ready yet, come on...').

    Some things I've always meant to do but haven't so far got around to...
    - Have a giant periodic table painted either on my ceiling or in the playground - then have pupils running between elements when given a clue (a bit like 'Captains coming' if you know the game)
    - Paint one wall/board or my room with magnetic paint - then think of things to do with it!

    One thing I did this week is use more Science songs in my lessons - if you want to know what I mean take a look at...
    Some are really appalling, but they can make a good starter 'Ok you lot, how many words about force in this song etc)
    PS; Many of the lyrics can be found at... http://www.geocities.com/bourbonstreet/2690/glazer/tomglazer.html

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