or "Learning Vocabulary"
Sometimes when I’m writing lesson plans, I have an epiphany, and I realize that my kids’ attention spans are no longer or deeper than my own. If I have not managed to retain the definitions of stomata, xylem, and chloroplasts from our reading…they probably haven’t, either. And if a review of the terms simply makes my eyes glaze over…then I know that their “study skills” leave something to be desired, too.
Science vocabulary in particular has always eluded me: it seems an obnoxious way to weed people out who might very well understand concepts but get tongue-tied when it comes to names. I’m the same way with meeting people at church, reducing them to layman’s terms: “Talking Man” and “Meat Sandwich.” (The latter was the unfortunate result of a lady trying in vain to help people remember her name: she’s the wife of a guy named Pat, and in Sunday School, she’d sit next to a girl named Pat. She said she was the middle of a “Pat Sandwich.” She also said her name, but I forget that part. I do know it wasn’t Pat.)
Looking again at the mysterious vocabulary, I began to work to make the mental pictures that allow me to remember faces, if not names. I pretended to care, and the result was the following lesson plan:
Vocabulary: phloem, xylem, leaf, root.