Adapting Journal Articles for High School Students Part 2

After I have looked through the open access journal websites and I have found a journal that has a particular focus I want to use with my students, I look for an article with three specific criteria.

1. It has to be a topic high school students would enjoy reading.  One of my favorite adaptations is based on an article in the journal BMC Ecology.  Zombie ants?  Mind-controlling fungi?  And an article that has both!?!  Who wouldn’t want to read an adaptation of this article!


2.  An approachable topic that students can understand with just a little background added.  I personally love reading about snRNAs or string theory, but it would take me pages to explain the background a student would need to actually understand a particular scientist’s new discovery in these fields.  Take my zombie ants article for example.  The majority of students already understand the terms “zombies”, “ants”, “fungi”, “parasite”, and “mind-control”.  If I give them a brief background describing what the scientists knew about these zombie ants before studying them for this particular journal article, students will understand the article and be able to think critically about it!    


3.  A paper that can be adapted to a 3 page adaptation.  If a scientific journal article has 25 data tables, sometimes it is hard to reduce it down to a manageable reading that can be completed (with 10-12 questions) in an hour.  Sometimes I can pick out one particular discovery (with a stand-alone graph and/or data table) from the paper and just base my adaptation on that single discovery. 


In my next blog entry, I will describe specifically how I created my adaptation of this article, so that you can create your own adaptation of scientific journal articles.  (If you don’t have the time to write your own adaptation, you are welcome to buy mine here.)

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Adapting Journal Articles for High School Students Part 1

Adapting Journal Articles for High School Students Part 3