Scientifically speaking

Ms. Kala Rao teaches biology to high school students at National Hill View Public School, Bengaluru. With a teaching experience of about 25 years, Ms. Rao’s passion is to create an interest in science, more so in biology.

In this article, Kala Rao speaks of two projects she incorporated in class, to help her class 11 children better understand the scientific names of common fruits/vegetables

Learning scientific names, although interesting, poses problems to students when it has to be written. It is often observed that students fail to follow the basic rules. For example, if a student gets the scientific name correctly, he/she fails to underline the name of the genus and species separately or even underline them at all! Or, the first letter of the name of the Genus is not written in upper case/the name of the species is written in upper case.
This is very often seen in the IX graders who are at the thresh-hold of grasping the basics of binomial nomenclature.
I took up two projects to off-set this problem.
The Idea was to enable students to learn the scientific names of common fruits/vegetables and write them correctly.
 Each student was asked to draw and colour a fruit or a vegetable or a spice, cut it out, find its scientific name, write it and stick it to their piece of work. Their effort was displayed on a display board which motivated them and reinforced the idea.
As an extension of the first project, each student was asked to write out their favourite recipe on an Art sheet, taking care to use only the scientific names of the ingredients in the method of its preparation. To my surprise, there was an overwhelming response from the students. As expected, there was practically no error. Each student was then asked to read out the recipe they wrote. I collected a plethora of recipes much to my delight which will be now be preserved.
Overall, I too enjoyed this activity immensely and my purpose was served!