Have you ever wondered where toilet paper originated? or Do we get wetter in the rain when we walk or run? or the old classico, What came first, the chicken or the egg?
So I came across this really interesting book last year, written by Andrew Thompson. The publication is packed with curious and interesting facts that we all take for granted, and probably never really think about it. The way Thompson has laid it out, and the simple explanations he uses means EFL students at around pre-intermediate/B1 level can grasp the content and do some non-fiction reading. Here are the other chapters in the book, first:
So, you can see that the list of topics is really quite extensive. The activity I thought about using, and has now become an integral part of Wednesday mornings, is one student each week presents one topic to the class. They have to make a blendspace of what they highlighted, write two or three EQs, then have an open-ended class-discussion on what they have learned from reading the article.
I chose the topic above since there was a really great thing that happened on the first week of the activity. One of our really inquisitive boys, Rüzgar, had chosen this topic since he really wants to study science in high school. So, this physics type of question was perfect for him. So, he went away and did all the that was asked of him, and he came back excited about what he had learned. While he was presenting our Deputy Principal looked in to make an announcement. But, when he saw what Rüzgar was telling the class he took a seat. Mahir, the DP, is also a physics teacher. So, now Rüzgar was presenting to his future physics teacher, and he had many facts to impress him. It was brilliant to watch both the excited student, and the willing science teacher engaging in the subject. It was also great for me tıo take a back seat and see another teacher at work on my lesson.
The really great thing about having Mahir in the class was that he really knew the subject
to explain the topic even more. It was wonderful to see the students learning science in English, and normally the activity lasts fifteen minutes, but this time we were engrossed for forty minutes. It was great to have some collaboration with an administrator, and also the science department. It was a clear example of how important it is to share such activities with other departments, so that more solidarity between all parties is developed in school.