We are thrilled to have Hiromi Oda for our September event on how using diagrams with science news articles can both help to increase student understanding of the reading while also allowing teachers to quickly assess the level of that understanding as well. Below you will find the full abstract for the presentation:
Diagram Methods for Science News Reading
In the fields of Chemistry or Electrical Engineering, diagrams are the only method to express abstract and complex relationships among atoms and molecules or electrical components. Visual representations allow us to capture multiple objects and their spacial or logical relationships at a glance. Also, English textbooks for reading often use some form of diagrams to explain the logical relations such as contrast or cause-and-effect.
The method — tentatively dubbed as the Diagram Method — introduced in this session is an attempt to use diagrams for extended texts. It has been used in science news reading classes at a couple of universities for the past several years.
Science news articles often have a common structure, including the lead, background, new research, discussion and outside comment sections. Using a template for the overall structure, students use different types of boxes, arrows, and connection lines to summarize the whole article on an A3 or B4 sheet, adding annotations in English.
Students are urged to differentiate the foreground from the background, and to put the logical "flow of the story" in the foreground, highlighting the new findings and relevant methods and background facts in the new research.
A few paragraphs will be discussed first to show the effectiveness of diagrams. Then, together with participants, a couple of sample science news articles will be discussed and summarized using the Diagram Method.
The discussion will then move to how this method helps students to have a clear understanding of the logical structures of scientific texts, and also allow teachers to check student summaries at a glance.
If you have the time, please make plans to join us for some drinks and refreshments following the presentation.