Author Topic: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars  (Read 9244 times)

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Offline Randall Sadler

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Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« on: February 28, 2012, 11:06:27 AM »
The responses below provide pre-reading activities for the linked articles below about a Vanishing Pulsar

http://www.space.com/14673-vanishing-pulsars-spinning-stars-mystery.html

I've also attached these articles in .pdf format in case the originals disappear, but please try the links first as the site may contain some updated supplemental links, etc.!

You can also find During Reading and Post Reading Activities about this article by following the links below!

During-Reading:  http://www.eslweb.org/resources/index.php?topic=1662.0
Post-Reading:  http://www.eslweb.org/resources/index.php?topic=1663.0
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 11:21:08 AM by Randall Sadler »
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Asst. Prof, Linguistics, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  www.eslweb.org
     

Offline Linh

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 01:51:42 PM »
Showing scenes from Star Trek that has "pulsars" in there.  If we can't find video clips in Star Trek, then anything else that is entertaining and can define what pulsars are in a visible form.

Offline Hyunmi Kang

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 01:55:37 PM »
Students are going to watch a short quick video clip that takes about less than 5 minutes. The video clip includes very general and simple information about stars. So, students can have background knowledge about stars but not detail information about it. After watching the video, teacher introduces the article and ask questions about the title and pictures to students. Students are not supposed to get the article until finishing the pre-reading activities.

Offline yuhuiho2

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 07:30:21 PM »
In order to raise students' interest, using images or videos as pre-reading activities can help students to understand the material more, especially for the students who are not really interested in the topic, or when the topic is to hard to understand. In this case, I found a intro video about "pulsar," and it can give students a general idea about what they are going to read. (The video is kinda dramatic)
Pulsar Planets

Offline Sophie

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 11:43:50 PM »
 I also think using visual image is a good way in the pre-reading activity since students' background knowledge of Pulstars might be quite different. And aslo, some students might not interested in subjects about science (like me). In this condition if we give them some scientific material about stars to read, they could feel boring. The video about stars does not need to be very long and complicated, and it's OK if it just covers some simple backgound of Pulstars. If time is enough, teacher could also give students some time to share their knowledge of Pulstars to encourage their participation in class.  :P

Offline Jian

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 12:45:40 AM »
As for content schema, relevant videos clips as mentioned above would really help construct the background knowledge but also around student's interest. Besides, I am considering some vocabulary-related activity to eliminate linguistic barriers during reading. In particular, such verbs as spin, emit, pulse, flash, which are central to understanding the material, are chosen. Students will be asked to help each other clarify meanings of those words orally in pair and then match them with corresponding pictures provided by the teacher as a wrap-up. This activity especially caters to learners at or a bit  below intermediate level.

Offline hannahkim

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 12:47:21 AM »


As many have already mentioned, I also thought that a short video that introduces the concept / definition of what pulsars are would be good idea as a pre-reading activity. I found a short clip, "what is a pulsar" where an expert in astronomy explains what the pulsars are and how they are created.


What is a pulsar?



Since it contains some technical, difficult terms, teachers might want to make a handout or PPT slide with those words (magnetic fields, neutron, etc.) in the order they appear in the video clip. Afterwards, teachers can check students' understanding of what they think the pulsars are, show them some pictures of them, and go on with the during-reading activity.


<Procedure>


1) Give Ss a handout of key vocabulary (important words both in video clip & the article that might help them understand the concept better)
2) Show Ss a video
3) Give Ss some time to discuss in pairs or groups what they think the pulsars are for 1-2 minutes.
4) Show them the pictures of pulsar (PPT slides would be good) and let them know that they are going to read about pulsars.




Alternatively, teachers can show students a video that contains some images of pulsars at the beginning of the class; check Ss's understanding of what they are; and start the during-reading activities.





« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 12:48:41 AM by hannahkim »

Offline nlloyd3

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 02:11:28 AM »
I would say, as several others have, that YouTube is an amazing resource. Incidentally, I have just received the results from the informal early feedback survey for my class, and at least a quarter of the students said that they really enjoy the videos and that the videos help them understand the content. In this case, the material is especially challenging so I would give them a definition first:

Pulsar: A celestial object, thought to be a rapidly rotating neutron star, that emits regular pulses of radio waves and other electromagnetic radiation at rates of up to one thousand pulses per second (Google Dictionary)

It would be fun to ask them to draw it to check their comprehension. Then they can compare their drawings to the images in the video.


Since the material is so difficult, the instructor could show the video twice, stop and replay the video, and/or give students focus questions such as "what is a neutron star?" "how big is a neutron star?" and "what type of neutron star is a pulsar?"

Pulsars & Neutron Stars


I found another link that students can use to explore the universe if there is time! Google Sky:
http://www.google.com/sky/#latitude=69.35708&longitude=-30.9375&zoom=7&Spitzer=0.00&ChandraXO=100.00&Galex=0.00&IRAS=0.00&WMAP=0.00&Cassini=0.00&slide=8&mI=1&oI=4&by=1

Offline twang13

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 09:08:07 AM »
Teachers could present a short video or some pictures with scenes about the story in the beginning, then ask students to discuss what the article may be about. After they discuss, teachers could provide some pre-reading questions to help students read the article and get the main ideas.

Offline esterc

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 10:33:20 AM »
I think I would do a pre-reading activity that engaged students in a discussion about star-gazing. In small groups, they activate schema by discussing questions like:
1. What kinds of stars/constellations are you familiar with?
2. Have you ever been star-gazing? If so, share about your experience (even if it was only at a Planetarium). What kinds of stars have you seen?

Then, I think showing a video on pulsars would give students invaluable background information before doing their reading. Yuhui's video from National Geographic seems like an excellent choice and I would also pre-teach some vocabulary from the reading (depending on the level of the students).


Offline sungheepark

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 09:57:33 PM »
Similar to the ideas above, i will start this lesson by activating students' prior knowledge.


1. Ask the students that if they knew that Sun is also a star.
2. Talk about the planet. Ask the students that if they remember any name of the planets in solar system.
3. Talk more about the characteristics of each planet such as Jupiter is the largest planet in solar system and Saturn has a ring.
4. Optional: Some kids will be interested in how the planets of solar system was named.
Tell Students about how the pluto was named.


Pluto was the only planet to be named by a kid. After the planet was discovered in 1930, an 11-year-old girl who lived in Oxford, England, by the name of Venetia Burney, suggested that this new planet needed to be named after the Roman god of the underworld. Venetia's grandfather sent this suggestion to the Lowell Observatory and the name was accepted.

cited from http://www.kidsastronomy.com/pluto.htm

Offline jayes2

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 10:58:27 PM »
Since I really do not know what astronomers do with their days, I thought that would be an interesting, open ended question for a pre reading activity. Students could make a list of things they "know" about astronomers, and things they might wonder about before beginning the article. This is a wide ranging question, even those with little scientific background or little scientific vocabulary should be able to participate with comments like "they use math" or "they look through telescopes." The teacher should help rephrase the comments and group the information on the board as a way of building vocabulary.
Finally, they could watch this short video linked below on what astronomers do and check their guesses. It is only 2 minutes long, and is subtitled which I think would be helpful with this new vocabulary. This activity would allow the teacher to model some of the new vocabulary, and prepare a background for examining the article about one kind of astronomy work.
 <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/U-A2pZCefPM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Offline Sarah_Choi

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Re: Pre-Reading Activities for an Article on Pulsars
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 10:30:06 AM »
 
[font=&#44404]In pre-reading stage, I think activating students' schema is the most important to make them ready to read the article. Since many students will not be familiar with the concept of pulsar, it would be good idea to use a video clip which can explain it and activate their background knowlege..[/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]
Pulsars & Neutron Stars
[/font]
[font=&#44404][/size][Precedure][/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]1. First, in pairs students will be asked to guess what the plusar means: they cannot consult the dictionary.They have to only guess the meaning of it. [/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]2. As whole class, briefly share the ideas.(without telling the answer. Make them guess more actively and make them curious, which can trigger their interest..) [/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]3. Without telling them the answer, show them the video clip.[/font]
[font=&#44404][/size]4. And then tell students you are going to read an article about what you've watched.  [/font]