Dr. Howard has been offering our faculty tips on helping students with the vocabulary specific to our disciplines. This is a special challenge for anatomy & physiology, which sometimes seems more like a foreign language course than a science class. For example, the chapter on muscle physiology has a cornucopia of tongue twisters that are difficult to connect to the students’ regular speaking and reading vocabularies. Think “sarcoplasmic reticulum” and “endomysium” and “terminal cisterns.” The list is so long that students are apt to lose heart and tune me out.
So, at the beginning of the class, I pass out the grid below, designed by my dear husband when I first started teaching. I ask the students to write each new word that they hear in any of the spaces. Typically, the spaces fill quickly, and I encourage them to double up by writing more words in each space.
For the grand finale of the day’s class, I offer definitions of newly introduced terms. The class responds with the appropriate term, and members who have listed it in their grid mark it off their grids. The first class member to mark off an entire row on their grid calls out “Bingo!” and is rewarded with a tossed chocolate kiss. We usually play several rounds. The students then have a self-generated vocabulary list to take home for study.