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Eliciting misconceptions: Concept sentences

Concept sentences
Cacti avenue on a desert road
© STEM Learning

A good way to elicit children’s thoughts is to ask them to make sentences to explain their thinking.

To look at how a cactus has adaptations which allow it to thrive in very hot climates, provide pupils with examples of cacti on their tables. Provide the children with cards that have words associated with the topic on (example under Downloads below). They use these words, with words of their own choosing, to form sentences about the topic under discussion. You can replace some of the words with pictures or have both on cards to support children who may not have experience of the topic.

For example, for cacti:

cactus leaves
stem water
needles thick
hot arid


Choose another living thing and eight words that could be used to create sentences about the adaptations that living thing has which allow it to thrive in its environment.
Post your ideas in the comments below.
© STEM Learning
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Teaching Primary Biology: Evolution and Inheritance

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