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Scientific Literacy Thinking By Analogy

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					Today you may “walk on the back of a beetle, slide down the throat of a foxglove, wade through the hairs on a bean sprout, or traipse over the back of your own hand.”
(Ruef, 2003, p. 3)

How to “LOUPE”
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Hold the loupe so the wide end cups the eye It must touch the bones around the eye Close your other eye Hold something up and bring closer to the loupe until it is focused

TRY IT:
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Look closely at the back of your hand Make a list of 10 things your hand reminds you of Be prepared to share If you get stuck, look at if from a different angle

Two Important Questions ~
What ELSE does it remind me of? What ELSE does it look like?

Student Observations of Their Hand
class list
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A maze Cactus Desert sand Crumpled paper Pattern Sand/sandpaper Baby’s head with tiny hairs sprouting Rock Tree bark

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Tree branches Reptile skin Close up picture of a fly Pottery Pencil Pool tile Fabric Spider’s web Icing on a cake Craters

Sandwich Poem
1. Write the bones-for-a-poem list (the analogies in the forms of metaphors and similes) 2. Put the name of your topic as the title and the same word as the last line.

3. The title and last line become the “bread” of the sandwich
4. The sandwich is filled with analogies. 5. You don’t have to use every comparison from your loupe-list. 6. Edit and revise as needed.

My hand –

My Hand
By Ben, 3rd grade, Decatur Private Eye

A complex maze Like an old man’s hand. Like fish gills, And stars mixed together. Deep, deep holes, Tall mountains, Small valleys, Crevasses in the mountains. A bloody river as wide as the Red Sea, Wide rivers with under water caves, Craters made by a meteor. Looking over jagged cliffs. My hand.

Increasing Scientific Literacy: Thinking By Analogy

Katie Hart Denton ISD Khart@dentonisd.org

First, before everything else comes the seeing of nature with your own eyes, that is, experiencing it yourself.
- Abraham H. Maslow
Psychologist

“Scientific Literacy” is
the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and process required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.
(National Research Council, 1996)

Scientific Literacy is also…
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the skill of “reading” the natural or manmade world. the skill of theorizing about the world by looking closely

(Ruef, 2003, p. 51)

The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. -Albert Einstein

Analogies
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Analogies are a kind of magnifier! Analogies will become the bones-forpoems, the beginnings of short stories, naturalist essays, and more. Thinking by analogy is the MAIN TOOL of scientist, writer, visual artist, mathematician.

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“Scientists would get rid of all their hardware, their fancy billion dollar labs, before they could afford to get rid of this habit of mind, thinking by analogy, for it’s the way the majority of scientific breakthroughs have always come and will come.”
(Ruef, 2003, p. 25)

Use of Analogies Examples:
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Leopard seal Catfish Rhinoceros Beetle Macaroni Penguins Ringed Seals

Why a LOUPE?
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Look closely at the world Think by analogy Change scale and theorize Simple Questions to develop higher order thinking skills, creativity, and scientific literacy.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
- Albert Einstein

SSL (Silent Sustained Louping)
1. 2.

3. 4.

Choose an object from the basket Create a list of at least 10 comparisons If you finish early, continue your list. Keep asking:
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What ELSE does this remind me of? What ELSE does it look like?

Student Observations of a Sponge
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Corral Grass Spider’s Web Craters Watermelon Mouth talking Pound cake Yolk Honeycomb
by Madison, third grade

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Bee hive Swiss cheese Mars Cotton candy Jelly bean Rice Krispys
by Bailey, third grade

Sandwich Poem
1. Write the bones-for-a-poem list (the analogies in the forms of metaphors and similes) 2. Put the name of your topic as the title and the same word as the last line.

3. The title and last line become the “bread” of the sandwich
4. The sandwich is filled with analogies. 5. You don’t have to use every comparison from your loupe-list. 6. Edit and revise as needed.

Daisies
These daisies remind me of a yellow and white hat. The stems are as rough as gravel and as green as grass. Each leaf has zig-zag edges. Some stems are wavy like waves in the ocean. The pedals are shaped like small ovals and they are as white as snow. The center is like a yellow pillow.

Written by Danielle, Third grade

Daisies

Red Yucca
It’s blossoms are redder than boiling lava, And the stem is darker than oak tree bark. Although it’s as tall as I, The stem is as thin as a pea pod. With leaves like a palm’s All covered with thread, While the newest blossoms as as small as an apple seed.

The flowers are shaped like a tulip, With the center golder than gold. The Red Yucca’s inside petals are a sun-shiny yellow, It’s flower is close to a hollow bucket, and a skinny wine glass, It has so many flowers and blossoms that it is like a hive full of bees.

Red Yucca
Written by Kylie, third grade

References
Lesson adapted from Ruef, K. (2003) The Private Eye (5X): Looking and Thinking by Analogy. Lyle, Washington. For more information and order forms www.theprivateeye.com

Other sources: National Research Council. (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.


				
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