Tangrams Activity

Purpose: to introduce students to concepts like common ground, shared knowledge and Theory of Mind in a fun and interactive way. I usually do this activity on the first day of class for my writing seminars to start a discussion about shared knowledge in the process of writing and reading.

Reading Handouts and Scaffolding

Purpose: to guide students in the process of reading published articles. Early on in the semester, when I assign my students articles to read, I usually provide them with a hand out like the one below to fill out as they are doing the reading. The handout is supposed to guide students to the most relevant information in the article. I also make sure to include questions about writing style. As the semester progresses, I decrease the number of questions in the handout.

Experimental Design, Method Sections and Summarizing

Purpose: to introduce students to experimental design, operationalization of variables, and the importance of including enough information in your paper’s Method section. I usually do this exercise after I have introduced the basics of independent and dependent variables and operationalization. The activity is very interactive and helps students think about experimental tasks, how and why they are designed, as well as how researchers write about them in published papers.