Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deconstructing the Word “Wonder”

 The concept of wonder as being essential to science was not immediately apparent to all of my students. Some of them got it right away and were able to articulate it, “Science is all about the questions”.  Some of them sort of got it but couldn’t explain why while others had no idea at all where I was coming from or why there were question marks hanging all around the portal into my classroom.
To help them make the connection between science and wonder I had the grade eleven biology students work collaboratively in deconstructing the word “wonder”. We did some simple paper folding to make large placemat-style posters which we used for graphic organizers in our activity.
In the center of the place mat each group wrote the word wonder. In each of the four quadrats they:
  1. Used “wonder” as a noun 
  2. Used “wonder” as a verb 
  3.  Listed synonyms for “wonder”
  4.  Listed antonyms for “wonder”
During this activity the students were encouraged to use their electronic technology to help them. As you can see from the accompanying photos some of them got it and some of them are not there yet. What would you do to make this activity a richer learning task?

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