Today I taught two introductory science classes, where I approached the subject linguistically.
Firstly, I drew a nut on the board, labelled the shell, as shell, and the kernel, as kernel. This was a chemistry into class, so I labelled the kernel as the nucleus.
I then drew a model of an atom, and labelled it the same way, explaining that the shell of an atom was a place, not a thing.
In my intro Bio class today I drew exactly the same nut, but I wrote skin/shell, and labelled it membrana
The centre, nucleus.
We had already studied the Greek etymology of atom, and learned how it got its name; that the atom was thought up by Democritus as a response to Zeno's paradox.
We looked at atom number one today ( I teach the atoms first by only referring to them by number, once they understand this concept, I move on to giving them their names. )
The first was hydrogen.
So, I explained that this atom, when it joins to oxygen, makes water. So its name is "watermaker". Then we learned hydro, and the root gen, meaning maker.
Then I explained that only a few atoms were known about by the ancients, and we looked at some of those.
Carbo - the stuff left after you burn wood. Then I gave it its abbreviation, and the kids made sure I didn't forget to give them their numbers.
Then we looked at Aurum, Argentium, Ferrum, Plumbum and Cuprum, and learned their abbreviations and numbers.
This is the first time I have taught the subject so intensively from a linguistic perspective. The kids understood the material very quickly, and they enjoy the Latin. I write the Latin words on the board in Latin cursive from the 1st century, to distinguish it from the English. They enjoy that as well.
I asked the kids a few basic questions in Latin for good measure. They always want more Latin, but this is, after all, Science class, so the Latin is restricted to what they need to know to be able to fully get to grips with scientific vocabulary.