That’s some science talk! As a science teacher, I am constantly using images during class – in my presentations, to aid ELL learners, to figure out a concept that I too struggle with! I am new to the IB curriculum, and chemistry can be difficult 😉 So, not only do images aid in the learning of my students, but they help me to become a better teacher of my scientific discipline.
I usually just Google an image and plop it into my presentation – DONE! And I also usually have no idea if I am really allowed to use those images. BUT with the Creative Commons image search that I am now aware of, I know that the images I am using are appropriate to use in the classes that I teach.
IB Chemistry Standard Level Year II
Here is the first image that I searched for on the Creative Commons image search, and I searched, “Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution,” and this is one of the first images that came up. In my year 2 chemistry class, we are currently learning about chemical kinetics, which includes what affects the rate of a reaction. This image is now a part of our Chemical Kinetics presentation (see slide 8). I linked the actual image in the presentation to show where this image came from. (I am wondering if it would be appropriate to include a caption as well.) I have already used this image in my lesson, and I asked my students the following questions about the image:
- Which noble gas do you think has the highest temperature? How do you know this?
- Which noble gas do you think has the highest energy? How do you know this?
- Why do each of these noble gases have particles of varying speeds?
Visual imagery definitely supports our curricular content in chemistry. Oftentimes, chemistry is such an abstract subject, and it is difficult for students to “see” what is happening at the molecular level. Including images allows students to “see” and better understand how chemistry works 🙂
IB Chemistry Higher Level Year I
Here is the second image that I searched for on the Creative Commons image search, and I searched, “Periodic trends,” and this is the very first image that came up. In my year 1 chemistry class, we are currently learning about the periodic table, which includes various trends that are associated with the periodic table. This image is now a part of our Periodic Table presentation (see slide 12). I plan to use this image in my class this week, and I was thinking about asking them questions similar to the following:
- Why do you think electron affinity and ionization energy have the same trend?
- Why does atomic radius increase down a group?
- Why does atomic radius decrease across a period? Does this answer contradict your previous answer? If so, does that make sense?
- What does metallic and nonmetallic character have to do with electron affinity and/or ionization energy (if anything)?
As stated above, visual imagery is an integral part of our curricular content in chemistry. It allows our students to “see” the unseen or at least try to make some sense of it 🙂
I am a HUGE fan of visuals especially in the classroom, but I am not all that sure that I am making the most of them. I think I can do better. Any suggestions? How do you use visual imagery to support your curricular content? Ideas wanted! I warmly welcome your comments below 🙂