Barrier Activity – Specialised Cells

Barrier activities are great activities for EAL learners as they need to communicate with each other to complete the activity.  

The barrier activity attached here is for teaching the function and names of different specialised cells.  I have used this with KS3 classes in mainstream science lessons.

Barrier activities involve EAL learners using all four skills of

  • reading – they have to read their text to their partner,
  • writing – they have to write what their partner tells them,
  • speaking – they have to communicate with their partner to help their partner fill in the gaps, 
  • listening – they have to listen to their partner to be able to fill in the gaps.

For this particular barrier activity you could pre-teach the questions and answers that EAL learners need to use and display them for learners to refer to.  Some examples of the questions and answers you could pre teach are:

  • What is the function of a nerve cell?
    • The function of a nerve cell is..
  • What does a red blood cell do?
    • A red blood cell …
  • Can you tell me what a root hair cell does?
    • A root hair cell…

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