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Using analogy

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#16 Richard Drew

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 07:47 PM

Do teacher-expounded analogies help the pupils, or do they just further confuse, do you think?
And as for the pupils making up their own analogies, is it just too sophisticated a skill for them?

coming in a bit late on this one.

i use analogies all of the time, as many have said subconciously. i really only began to notice it recently when both my HOD and our PGCE student both observed lessons i taught and both commented on it. in my experience most pupils find the use of analogies a real aid to their understanding, the ones who in my experience do not tend to be those whose attention span is too short to make the connection between this nice story and the learning. to be effective i find that the analogy has to be followed by carefully constructed questions (e.g. Richard's point above) that tease aout the benefit of the analogy.

i find my pupils increasingly give me explanations in the form of analogies - perhaps it is my style rubbing off on them!!! their responses to my questions often start with "well sir, it's a bit like when ........"
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#17 JohnDClare


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Posted 15 September 2003 - 01:36 PM

Not really historically valid, but one of my pupils came in with this.
I thought it might amuse you:

Socio-Political Themes in The Smurfs

It begins to give me an idea for a more interesting homework, perhaps asking my GCSE pupils to find their own analogy in some other cartoon (eg the Simpsons).
When I try it, I'll let you know how it goes.

#18 piercey


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Posted 17 September 2003 - 01:09 PM

When we study the Persian wars (expansion of the Persian empire, Ionian revolt, battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis) I present the information and then have the students retell them as a series of basketball games. They label the basketball courts with the name of the battle, add a score that reflects the outcome (Persians vs. Greeks), and label teams, plays, coaches, etc to reflect the information they learned. I'm sure you could do a visual metaphor like this with soccer or something more to your students' liking.
I use a program called "HistoryAlive!", which I am telling you about because the original idea came from them. (If anyone is interested, you can check out the website at www.historyalive.com
Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited, imagination encirles the world." - Albert

#19 Richard Drew

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 11:18 PM

one of my pupils developed an interesting anology today that works on a pretty basic level.

starting the topic of Germany 1918-45 with an overview of the situation in germany in 1918 many of the pupils looked a bit out of their depth.

until that is one pupil sought to explain that Germany in 1918 was a bit like Iraq today - leader/ruling elite vanished, not proper system of government to replace it, no agreement on who or what should replace it, no proper policing system, chaos on the streets, power/food shortages, no neighbours to rely on for help. take the US/GB out of the equation and, she argued, iraq today would be very much like Germany at the end of 1918.

ok there are glaring inadequacies to the analogy, bit i felt it effectively communicated a sense of the problems germany faced in 1918, and the glazed expressions suddenly turned to quitely confident awareness.
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