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  • Concept cartoons are an ideal way to explore a range of viewpoints about a science idea. The cartoon includes a scientifically correct idea and a few alternative ideas. Concept cartoons help highlight potential alternative conceptions, draw out student questions and promote small group and class discussion.

    Rights: University of Waikato

    Gravity concept cartoon

    This concept cartoon presents some of the viewpoints students commonly hold regarding gravity. The cartoon helps students to justify their ideas and clarify their scientific thinking.

    A variety of pedagogical methodologies and approaches are explained in the article Using concept cartoons.

    This activity includes sample concept cartoons on the topics of gravity and water’s gaseous state and blank templates for students or teachers to create their own concept cartoons.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • discuss and justify their own scientific ideas
    • consider other students’ scientific thinking
    • locate information to clarify/support their own scientific thinking
    • create their own concept cartoons to explore a scientific idea (optional).

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • background information for teachers
    • teacher instructions
    • student instructions.

    Nature of science

    This activity supports the NOS strand ‘Understanding about science’. It helps students build on their knowledge of basic science concepts and develop their scientific understanding of the world around them through discussion, questioning and careful consideration.

    Related content

    Concept cartoons are an ideal way to discover and modify students’ alternative conceptions. Find out how to identify existing conceptions and how to help transform them with these Hub resources.

    Activity ideas

    The activity Climate change – challenging conversations also uses concept cartoons to explore climate change-related issues.

    The activity RNAi – making science-informed responses uses concept cartoons to explore novel biotechnologies and pest control.

      Published 15 February 2018 Referencing Hub articles
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