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My Scientific Summer                Name _______________________________________________

(Fill out this page and attach to your work.)        Class period ________________

Choose from the list of summer activities brainstormed in class:

List of Activities

How did doing each activity = doing science?



Write about your summer activity.  Write until you have :


You might include responses to these prompts:

Criteria Sheet – My Scientific Summer

Assignment: A vignette is a small essay.  Write a vignette that uses events from your summer to tell about ways in which you experienced science last summer.  

Criteria:  Attach this page to your work.

1.  Thesis Statement: Stated or implied.  Tell the main idea of your vignette. Include a 1-3 word description of your activity, for example, “In the water…”

2.  Introduction:  What kind of introduction will you use?  Re-read the chart.




        Wake-up call


3.  Evidence: Support your point with specific examples from your chart.

4.  Transitions: Refer back to your thesis to tie your essay together.

5.  Conclusion:  Why was the activity fun for you or otherwise successful?  


                Circle back to the beginning

                Possible solution

                Restate and emphasize thesis

                Further questions to think about

My Scientific Summer  - Introductory Activity for Science Classes

The purpose of this activity is for students to see their own interests, activities, abilities, skills and lives as mirrored in the lives of scientists.

Day 1:

1.  Read your own description of something scientific you did over the summer as a model:

I love the water, and I love to SCUBA dive.  I also love science.  I especially love that SCUBA diving is being in the water and doing science.  I was a volunteer diver at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  One of my jobs there was to dive in the tank when there are visitors and answer their questions.  I could do this because we wore full face masks that let us talk to one another, our tender, and the visitors. I got to be in the water and tech science. Another one of my jobs there was to dive in the fish tanks and vacuum up debris (leftover food and fish poo) from the bottom.  Last spring, my buddy and I were vacuuming the shark tank and noticed globs of debris about the size of softballs.  The balls appeared to be squirming.  I screamed into my face mask and the tender sent down a bag for my buddy and I to capture one of the globs of debris.  When we got out, we looked at the debris with a dissecting microscope and saw that there were many small worms inside.  We learned a few days later that the aquarist had discovered worms that were  previously thought to live only in warm water.  This was puzzling, because all the water in the aquarium comes from the Puget Sound, which is very cold.  We now have a new hypothesis to investigate. I hope this will be a nother chance for me to combine my favorite things, SCUBA diving and science.

2.  Help students brainstorm together about summer activities to fill in the chart.   Add the science together during the discussion.

3.  Re-read your own description if you need to, as a model.  Be careful with models as students may just copy your work.

4.  Ask students to write, on another sheet of paper, to the prompts beneath the chart.  He Criteria Sheet is copied on the back of the prompt page.  Each student attaches the sheet to his work before submitting.

5.  File the work, or have students file it, for later use when Old Dead Guys come up or for use in an activity “What Does a Scientist Look Like?” in which stereotypes of Old Dead Guys are examined and students look for characteristics they share with scientists.  

Day 2: (may be weeks later)

Scientist Role Play:

1.  Each student gets

- a scientist biography card (I have to make these ) extra set posted around the room

- a scientist bingo card ( 6x 6 chart) with 1 trait per box, written as a question (I have to make

   these too)

2.  Student writes his/her own name on the bingo card and asks questions in each bingo card square as himself.

        Questions: (to be written)

3.  Student answers questions as the scientist on his scientist card.

4.  When a scientist’s answer matches the student’s answer, the student writes the scientist’s name in the

     apropriate squae on the bingo card.

Notes from the workshop discussion.  I shamelessly stole everything.  

Other ways to use writing in the classroom:

“I’m not good at science.”   Vignette from students’ lives.

“I’m never going to use this stuff.”

“My Scientific Summer” – need to write specific prompts

“The Secret Life of Bees”  - what was your experience with something venomous?

Lives of Scientists – Old Dead Guys

Nuclear power – Hanford?

Single story – where would a “single story” have impeded scientific progress?

Describe something about which you are curious.

Describe an experience that changed your mind.

Why do you think that happened?

How could we find out?

What things do we do that affect our bodies in good and bad ways?

Brain research.

Do something that they can be good at, on several levels from low to high.

Let kids write responses to questions, discuss, see that they are successful.

1 experience = narrative

>1 = essay

Must revise and make sure they highlight.

Be careful with models, or students will copy too closely.

© Luann Christensen Lee 2010