SCIENCE IN MOTION
Using movement to help students understand the meaning of science terms
Louisiana Science Teachers Association
October 25, 2002
Paige L. Schulte
Southeastern Louisiana University, Dept. of Teaching & Learning
Songs Chants Dramatizing Games Writing
Typing Skipping Drawing while listening Clapping Copying
Action rhymes Finger-snapping Doodling
Jumping Simon Says Pasting Cutting Painting
Miming Role-play Improvising Projects Simulations
Charades Terms in motion Interaction 3Movingchallenges
Total Physical Response (TPR) developed by Dr. James Asher (1):A teaching technique whereby a learner responds to language input with body motions. Acting out a chant, or the game 'Robot' is an example of a TPR activity, where the teacher commands her robots to do some task in the classroom. Acting out stories and giving imperative commands are common TPR activities (2).
The following types of activities which focus on meaning can help students acquire language (4):
1. content (subject matter, new information, reading)
2. affective-humanistic (students ideas, opinions, experiences).
3. games (focus on using language to participate in the game)***
4. problem solving (focus on using language to locate information) (4, Iruio, p. 5).
***BODY PART CHALLENGE (5)use mat, newspaper, or piece of carpet, prepare in advance a list of movement challenges to verbally give to participants, can range from simple body terms for younger children to more complex terms for older students. You can also call out two body parts to be put on the carpet square at the same time. Try to challenge the problem-solving abilities of students. The following are sample instructions:
-Left foot -Left Patella)
-Right knee -Right Metatarsals
-Forehead -Left Metacarpals
-Nose -Top of cranium
-Right Hip -Sternum
-Right ear -Coccyx
-Chin and right knee and left hand -Vertebrae and Back of Cranium and Right Tarsals
-Top of head and right foot and both hands
*Pair and **Group Activities
**SIMULATION: each student in the group is a molecule in motion, assign a lead molecule in each group, teacher indicates (verbally, picture, flashlight) whether heat source is being added or removed, movement of groups should simulate the correct phase change. One group can model the movement in front of the class while others assess with thumbs up or thumbs down. Can also be done as a whole-class activity (6).
**CHARADES: Each group receives a card with a different science term on it. Each group must devise a movement that represents the concept. (see list attached).The rest of the class has to guess what it is.
*BODY MATCH REVIEW (7): can be used with any of the following:
1. identify body parts
2. identify the five senses
3. identify the body parts that pertain to the five senses.
4. identify organs
5. identify organ systems
71 Students are given cards with either a body part or a verb. Move around classroom to match their card with the correct verb ex -Nose smells -Skin feels -Ears hear
72 Can be more complex for older students. Ex. -Olfactory structures smell
-Integumentary system sweats -Mammary glands secrete milk. Once all
matched, rest of the class assesses each with thumbs up or thumbs down.
Ideas to keep in mind when using movement activities:
c1 Can be used at the beginning of class as an assessment of prior knowledge or as a grabber for the lesson that day, as an activity that reinforces vocabulary or as a check for understanding, or as a review.
c2 Have a specific plan for addressing potential behavioral problems.
c3 Set up behavioral expectations and consequences at the beginning of the activity especially the first time you use it.
c4 Move from simple concepts to more complex.
c5 Preplan your activity thoroughly.
c6 Begin and move through the movement activity quickly.
c7 Use pairs or groups to help manage the class.
c8 Make sure the entire class is engaged even if they are not actually performing the movement.
c9 Use movement activities as a check for understanding.
c10 Give opportunity to do movements individually and as part of a group.
c11 Consistent oral feedback during movement activities helps them remain engaged.
c12 Have students write out in words what they did in their movement activity.
c13 Encourage students to construct their own methods of movement to describe a science concept.
c14 Use probing questions to find out why students used a particular movement to represent a concept.
71 Molecules in motion (solid, liquid, gas)
72 Phase changes (as heat source is added or taken away)
73 Light travels faster than sound (run a race between light an sound students predict who wins
74 Inertia (move quikly with a glass or water, quickly stop)
77 Cohesion of water molecules
78 Evaporation-as a liquid warms, some of its molecules move so fast they bounce off into the air.
79 Water boiling
713 Magnetic attraction and repulsion: iron steel, cobalt, nickel are attracted to a magnet, brass, aluminum, tin silver, stainless steel, copper, bronze, gold are not. Do mix, pair, discuss Have tags repulsed or attracted thumbs up thumbs down.
715 Conductors and nonconductors: metals are good conductors of electricity, most other solid materials are not. Students form a circle (circuit)-assign cards to different students (cotton, paperclip)-introduce each to circle, ask class 3will the bulb light?4
76 Types of weathering: physical and chemical
77 Erosion: wind, water, glacier, gravity
78 Constellations: each group assigned different one, form it within group, have the other groups guess using chart. Point out: the pattern of a constellation depends on the position of the observer in space.
710 Solar eclipse
711 Lunar eclipse
712 Different types of faults list them
713 Anticlines and Synclines
714 Igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic rocks: students act out how each form. Other students guess, students make chart showing clues for each type.
715 Water Cycle
71 Five senses
72 Body parts
73 Body systems
74 Organ functions
75 System functions
76 Ex.: pulse, circulation, digestion, muscle functions
77 Types of joints
78 Antagonistic muscle pairs
79 Changes in environment or habitat
711 Food chains and webs
712 Nitrogen cycle
713 Types of organisms
Closure BrainstormWhat other science in motion terms can you think of?
(1) Asher, James J. (1982). Learning another language through actions. Los Gatos,
CA: Sky Oaks Productions.
(3) Total Physical Response Guiding Principles
(4) Iruio, S. Teaching Techniques.
(5) Adapted from: Carpet Square Challenge.
(6) Adapted from: Project WET. (1995). Project WET curriculum and activity guide.
Boseman, MT: The Watercourse and Council for Environmental Education.
(7) Adapted from: ESOL Lesson Plan.
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