This activity is designed to place students into discussion groups. It can be used as a first day of class activity, or modified to introduce a unit/chapter, or as an end-of unit review.
May vary depending upon modifications.
Teachers will have to modify this to their own textbook, or collect magazine or newspaper articles for the students to read.
topic terms (one for each student)
unifying terms (one for each group of topic terms)
worksheet for activity
For this activity the teacher will have to make up topic terms, put them into unifying groups, and prepare one worksheet for each group. A sample for this activity to be used on the first day of class is included.
1. Give one topic term to each student. These can be on slips of paper, or on index cards for future use.
2. Ask students to arrange themselves into groups of 4 (this is variable) based upon their knowledge of the topic terms they were given. (At this point the teacher should give very little input to the students.)
3. When students think they have found their group members, they should discuss and formulate a plausible unifying theme for their group.
4. When students think they have a unifying theme for their group, they approach the instructor with their theme, and if correct, the instructor will give them their textbooks and worksheet to fill out. If their groups are not correct, encourage them to form a different group.
5. Students should then work in their group to answer the questions on the worksheet.
Next class period
6. The teacher leads a discussion of the completed worksheets, since each group will have different answers on their worksheets this will familiarize the class with the textbook. (If articles are read, student groups summarize the article(s) they read. This may require a particular group order, based upon the articles used.)
Examples of Grouping Terms that could be used for an Anatomy class:
Unifying Concept Topic Terms
Nervous System neurotransmitter, neuron, multiple sclerosis, synaptic cleft
Muscular System actin, motor unit, pronation, tendon
Skeletal System canaliculi, osteocytes, diaphysis, pelvic girdle
Integumentary System burn, dermis, melanin, subcutaneous
Circulatory System atrium, epicardium, electrocardiogram, pacemaker
The grouping format of this can be used to do various activities; to put students into groups to do lab work, to put students into groups to read topic-related articles, or to put students into groups to work on a chapter summary.
Cronkite, Donald: Academics Director, 1996 Woodrow Wilson Institute
Thibodeau, Gary A. Structure and Function of the Body. Mosby Year Book, Inc. 1992
About the Author
Sharla Dowding is a science teacher at Rushville High School in Rushville, Nebraska. Sharla can be contacted at Rushville HS - Box 590, Rushville, NE 69360 phone:308-327-2491
Name of Subject _______________________
Title of Textbook ______________________
Copyright date ________________________
PREFACES, FORWARDS & INTRODUCTIONS contain essentially the same information. These lead-in comments give the author(s) a chance to talk about why the book was written and how it is organized. Often suggestions about how to read the book are provided.
1. What qualifications can you find about your author in the preface that make him/her qualified to write this book?
2. How many pages long is your preface?
The TABLE OF CONTENTS provides an early "road map" of the whole text. It gives a good indication of the learning aids which are provided in the text. Answer the following questions by referring to the table of contents.
3. How many chapters are there in your text?
4. Write the page number that you will find the following learning aids:
Glossary __________ Appendix __________ Bibliography __________ Index __________
The GLOSSARY gives definitions of difficult technical terms used in the text. It is a valuable aid to understanding the vocabulary of a subject. Locate you groups topic terms in the glossary and write the definition of those terms in the following space.
The APPENDIX provides additional information about a topic. An appendix is located in the back of the book and contains information that supports and expands a topic. If your text has an appendix, write a list of at least three items you find in it.
A BIBLIOGRAPHY gives specific information about authors and books that were consulted during the writing of the text. Some of these books may be recommended as additional reading. The bibliography is usually located at the end of the book, but it may follow each chapter.
12. Which does your book do?
Locate the bibliography in your text and write three references that were used for your groups topic.
The INDEX provides the fastest means for locating topic information and names of people referred to in the text. Locate the index in your book. List the types of information you can find there for your groups organizing theme or topic terms.
Many other TEXTUAL AIDS are included in most books. See if you can locate each of the following aids in your topic chapter. Write the page number where appropriate, and NO if it is not included.
19. Are there QUESTIONS at the beginning of the chapter?
20. Are there OBJECTIVES for your chapter?
21. Are there PHOTOGRAPHS in the chapter?
22. Are there ILLUSTRATIONS or DIAGRAMS?
23. Are there GRAPHS?
24. Are there TABLES?
25. Are KEY WORDS in italics, bold or large words?
26. Is there a PRONUNCIATION GUIDE?
27. Are there FOOTNOTES?
28. Are there HEADINGS?
29. Are there MARGINAL NOTES?
30. Are there QUESTIONS at the end of the chapter?
31. Are there SUMMARIES at the end of the chapter?
32. Are there PRACTICE EXERCISES?
33. Is there anything else you found that is not included in this list?
34. What are BOXED ESSAYS?
35. Your group should read and summarize a boxed essay from your topic chapter.