Ideas beyond the textbook

B Smitha

rv-1 Children by nature are curious about animals and other life forms. But, when they enter the biology classroom, the tyranny of the textbook takes over. They feel burdened by the difficult terms they encounter and the amount of information they are required to memorize. It is ironical that a life science becomes rather lifeless in the classroom. This is often because of the biology syllabus requirements of boards of education in India.

What makes biology lifeless is that it is taught in an abstract manner. Students are unable to make connections between concepts and happenings in their own lives – be it their environment or their own bodies. Listed below are some activities that I have attempted with students of senior school. These are fun learning tools that make classes livelier.

Taming terminology terrors
A lot of terms in biology have their origin in Greek and Latin. Therefore, it is a good idea for students to learn some Greek and Latin roots. In this activity, students are provided lists that contain meanings of prefixes, suffixes and roots in Greek and Latin.

B Smitha is a teacher at the Rishi Valley School, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. She can be reached at [email protected].

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