Introductory discussion : What is an analogy? Can you give examples of analogies that you use to explain something in your daily life, for example when you explain something to your children? Mention special ways to use analogies such as models and role plays.
Try to find as many reasons as possible.
Explain with an example: if students take the analogy too far, new misconceptions will be created.
Biology = cell as a city Earth science: heating of a car = greenhouse effect Physics: voltage = water pressure Chemistry: fan = electron clouds Demonstration of FAR technique
Make sure that students are sufficiently familiar with the analog before doing the activity.
Explicitly mapping the similarities and dissimilarities between the concept and the analog is important since it avoids creating new misconceptions with the students.
Demonstration of technique by facilitator. - Cell as a city
If possible analogy that they already use
The more students are involved in the elaboration and acting out of analogies, the more likely they are to accept the ideas you have in mind.
Sometimes every group will prepare the same role play; sometimes every group will play a different part, for example in a cell division process. Sometimes extra elements can be added to the play to strengthen the relation between the concept and the analog. Examples: Biology: Function and structure of a cell membrane Cell division: mitosis and meiosis Chemistry: Chemical reactions involved in electrolysis Radioactivity and half-life time Earth science: Solar and lunar eclipse Greenhouse effect. Why is Venus so much hotter than the Earth? Physics: Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
They have the advantage that they can be seen and touched by students, increasing their familiarity with the analog and improving the relation with the concept.
During the brainstorm: Provide needed information to the groups, give tips and help students to develop their ideas. Provide sufficient time for students to find and develop analogies. Stimulate students to make drawings to illustrate the analogy. Asking questions forces them to think about the concept and will increase their understanding. Feedback: Avoid saying “this is right” and “that is wrong”, but praise students for their creativity. Use output later in Synectics activity.
Analogies and Models Training in student centered approaches for science teaching