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ERIC Number: EJ784007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0002-7685
How to Write "How-to" Books with High School Ecology & Horticulture Students
Merritt, Maya; Shajira, Natasya; Daisey, Peggy
American Biology Teacher, v65 n6 p432-435 Aug 2003
It is essential for students to think clearly about fundamental biological concepts. One of the benefits of writing is that it promotes and enhances thinking. If students can write clearly, they are thinking clearly. Writing helps to connect new knowledge with prior knowledge and promotes the construction of knowledge. Writing-to-learn activities enhance vocabulary development, promote ownership, and invite participation by a broader range of students, particularly females and minority students. One writing-to-learn activity that is proving successful in high school classes is writing "how-to" books. A how-to book describes a process and explains how to do a variety of tasks, such as starting an insect collection, classifying trees, dissecting a cat, using a compound microscope, or separating DNA using gel electrophoresis. How-to books make learning relevant, promote retention, and are student-driven learning. The purpose of this paper is to describe a how-to book assignment in ecology and horticulture high school classes, offer instructional tips, provide student comments about the assignment, and offer a list of student-made how-to book titles. (Contains 3 figures.)
National Association of Biology Teachers. 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive #110, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-406-0775; Tel: 703-264-9696; Fax: 703-264-7778; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A