Mystery Box! Taking the Abstract out of Academic Language

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Students, especially younger students, often struggle with academic language. Not only do we ask them to understand an abstract thought-process or action, we also want them to APPLY this abstract process to an abstract product, such as a story, novel, essay, or poem. I like to give my incoming freshmen this fun activity at the beginning of the year, because it makes the process of identification, analysis, evaluation and synthesis more accessible by applying each to a CONCRETE item.

In this activity, small groups will work with a mystery item (a tool) that you provide them. Together they will work on paper, and in discussion to identify the item, and then analyze, compare and contrast, and evaluate the item's effectiveness for the job it does. Synthesis is included as a next step, or extra credit.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
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3
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Teaching Duration
55 Minutes

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Mystery Box!  Taking the Abstract out of Academic Language
Mystery Box!  Taking the Abstract out of Academic Language
Mystery Box!  Taking the Abstract out of Academic Language