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Post-reading activities on "Oddball giant white dwarf...."

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Post Reading

Use metaphor to explain difficult concepts to an audience with little knowledge of the topic

T first explains metaphor to Ss (or has Ss define it if they have previous knowledge). T asks Ss to find a metaphor in the article.

"A white dwarf has an internal structure kind of like an onion, in that it's in layers," study lead author Mark Hollands, an astrophysicist at the University of Warwick in England, told "In the core of the white dwarf, most of its mass is made of carbon and oxygen, and then you usually have a layer of helium on top of that, and then a layer of hydrogen. So when you point a telescope at a white dwarf, you're just seeing the outer layers."

T explains Mark Hollands use the metaphor of an onion to describe a white dwarf, which is a way to help a general audience understand a difficult concept.

T asks Ss to create a spoken summary presentation of the article for an audience of middle school students. Ss must use at least one metaphor in their summary of the article. Use of props etc. is encouraged!

The first post-reading activity could be, if not done in some way as a during reading activity, a comprehension check. This could be given in one of a number of different ways (e.g. in/formal quiz, kahoot, asked aloud). Potential questions could include things like 'How do scientists think the giant dwarf star came to be' (collision), 'How long ago do they estimate this to have occurred' (1.3 billion years), 'Scientists found a large amount of ___ in the atmosphere' (carbon), etc.
Another post-reading activity could be a free response journal entry type of activity. Give the students some general prompts (e.g. did this remind you of anything else you've read, what did you find interesting, did you find it interesting, etc). This would give the students a chance to write (a little bit) about what they just read, and the teacher (assuming you have them turn it in) can gauge the general reception of the piece.

Post-Reading Activities:
* After reading and annotating the article, students could make a list of 2-3 questions they still have. Then, students could research these questions using the hyperlinks within the article itself,'s search, or Google.
* As one potential pre-reading activity would be to infer meanings of a list of vocabulary items students may not know (e.g., supernova, merger, white dwarf), students could then return to these items and define them based on the context provided in the article after reading. This would help activate students' schema on the topic prior to reading and allow them to confirm their inferences using context clues after reading.


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