Creative Writing in ScienceWriting in science
Writing in science teaching
Inventing their own histories will help pupils to acquire materials in new ways. While it may seem unconventional, as a secondary science lecturer I have found that one of the best ways to hire pupils is creative writing. Often, when a student writes research, their first instance is to gather as many facts as possible into one big bunch and put them together into one single account.
I really want the undergraduates to develop their own notions. To this end, my favourite tactics are to ask them to do something creative and ingenious. For a year, for example, I had them writing science fi lm tales that describe journeys to another planets in our sun system. First I modelled and read parts of Arthur Clarke's classical tale "A Case of Moondust".
" It is a tale made before the Apollo landed on the moons and describes a different face of the Moons from what we actually found there. Pupils could see Clarke absorbing the finite information we had about the moons and developing an experience around these facts that was filled with fantasy wherever the facts were missing.
Each time I gave them a directory with information about their planets, I gave them the chance to select a planets they wanted to use. Is there a firm planetary area? You were asked to make a history of a journey to this world. Astronauts would have to be armed to live on the planets, and history would have to contain as many scientific detail as possible.
I had a great time with my pupils. Several were more artful, so I let them make cartoon-style tales that illustrated the adventures, with dialogues in blisters above the characters' minds. Planning-related facts were not always at the forefront of their work, but the section gave them points for the creative inclusion of as many facts as possible.
Even if you're looking for ways to incorporate your classroom with a variety of media such as blogging, wiki, podcasting or photo stories, this type of creative writing activities can still be tailored to these settings. These are some other writing projects in science: - A journal of the first individual to describe a particular time in your pet's lifetime - with information about habitats, predator-prey interaction and surviving strategy.
- A first-hand report on a large outburst such as Mount St. Helens, with all the pertinent science, the kind of volcan, the kind of outbreak, the damages caused, and so on. - A tale that describes the travel of a meal from the lips down, with detail showing all the stages along the way (this is a great cartoon or a report from the first person).
- With the merit of H.G. Wells, a tale about a travel through the Jura or another epoch, which describes the flora, fauna and the landscape of its age. - And with a head pitch to Jules Verne, a scientific exact voyage to the centre of the world, which describes the properties of each stratum one would meet.
I would set up the research for each of these research ventures by making available to the student references, textbooks and papers that I have already published on the Internets. The possibility to select from several different possibilities enhances their excitement and responsibility. This has resulted in a multitude of different project activities that reflect the different interests and talent of the student.
A prizewinning science instructor and member of the Leaders Network, Anthony Cody now works as a career developer in Oakland, California.