Atoms and the Structure of Matter is part 3 of the Working with Wonder series. It deals with the relationship between Matter and Energy and explains the flow of energy from the beginning of creation, through the formation of galaxies, solids, liquids and gases, to the emergence of life on earth.
Learning methods include games, mime, modern scientific concepts, dramatization, cultural activities, projects and problem solving team work.
Ruth Rabinowitz is the author and seller of "Working with Wonder"-a Handbook for Holistic Science Education. It is a 14 Part handbook on teaching the natural sciences in a manner that is active, questioning, fun, relevant and creative.
Lessons can be applied to learners aged 6 to 16 since material is written for 6-8; 9-11;12-16. The lessons comprise 14 themes which aim to provide a conceptual understanding of the world. Themes span:
1. The Creation of the Universe
2. Earth Air Fire and Water- Ecology, Environment, Recycling
3. Structure of Matter-Atoms and Energy
5. Uniqueness of Humans- Poetry
6. Our Living Bodies- Healthy Lifestyles
10.Survival- Homes Clothes Food
12. Laws and Justice
13. Discoveries and Inventions-Survival, Maths, Movement, Power,
14.Healthy Lifestyle- HIV, Tolerance, Compassion, Happiness
Each Theme has a lesson plan, enabling the teacher to use the following learning paradigms
1. MYTHOLOGY myths stories or legends provide an inspiring story background to the theme
2. SCIENTIFIC THEORY provides a conceptual explanation of the theme in terms of current science. It is interactive and experiential, with questions provided for the teacher to pose to learners before they are offered explanations. It results in eureka moments which inspire students to learn.
3. GAMES MOVEMENT AND MIME - we learn least from hearing, more from seeing and most from doing. Humor and games enable themes to be embodied, understood and remembered.
Asking learners to choose WHAT WHO WHERE and WHY as a context for the activity centers thoughts and feelings around real people places or events.
4. STORIES FOR DRAMATIZATION
Stores related to the theme are provided for 3 age groups A Production Guide is included, assisting the teacher to involve all the students in an orderly fashion, while giving them the freedom to improvise within the framework of the story.
5. ART DANCE and DRAMA
"The real man is the imagination" says Blake. Creative Expression helps learners own a theme and add purpose to what they have learnt
6. EXPERIENTIAL DRAMA.
Students apply what they have learnt to problems in their environment through small and large group work, using Interviews, Reports, Meetings, Debates, Action Committees, Petitions, Court Rooms, Commissions of Inquiry, Problem Solving Teams and Projects.