Many writers not only have a command of words, but have a sense of how the words are used in different fields. For example, Hemingway and Steinbeck were both masters of using scientific facts to help weave a story. Learning about science is very applicable to many fields that involve writing.
Journalists, television reporters, newscasters, and people who listen or watch news need to weave scientific information into their stories and understanding. Ignorance of basic scientific facts may make their stories inaccurate.
Many "sci fi" writers need to consult scientists to make sure their writing are accurate. Movies such as Jurassic Park, required the help of paleontologists and geologist to make the movie realistic.
- Students should read "Ricky the Rapping Rock" and see if the material written about is accurate. This song by Cassy Fries, was written by a high school freshman. She weaves the basic concepts into a fun, but factual presentation of how rocks are formed. You may want students to write their own poem on information they learned already.
- You may want students to practice weaving scientific facts into a creative story. Tell the students the following story:
THE CASE OF THE MIXED UP ROCK
Metamorphic rocks have changed. Why? They were once igneous or sedimentary rocks, but have changed under heat and pressure. Sometimes metamorphic rocks feel "different," but they do not know why. Mildred Metamorphic is visiting her rock doctor to cope with her past life. Write a story about her "mixed up" emotions when she finds out that she might have had more than one life.
Have students decide whether Mildred was an igneous or a sedimentary rock in her first life.
- Guide the students so that they include some of the following information:
IGNEOUS - life was hot, but cooled down later inside the Earth; or had to escape to the surface to cool down quickly.
SEDIMENTARY - life was wet, but dried up; life was full of movement and broken pieces; might involve fossils
METAMORPHIC - life changed; became a punk rocker; pressure was great; life got a little hot, but is stable now
- Discuss with the students some of the facts they need to weave into their stories, and then let them discuss other possibilities. Other class members can give ideas that might spark an interest in other students. You may want to have your students conduct an internet search for information about the different types of rocks to get storyline ideas. Use different search engines to look up "rock."
- You may also want students to illustrate their essay. You might want to have students join forces to create an essay. One can draw a "rock" and the other one writes the story.
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