Explaining How Things Work

Today we will:

  • Discuss a few current science news stories
  • Talk about “Can A Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?”
  • Talk about the importance of explaining hard stuff to readers — and about how hard that can be. Get an overview on explainers in journalism.
  • Do an in-class writing exercise

News Roundup



 In-class assignment — pick one of these or your own

  1. How does a car burn fuel?
  2. How does chemotherapy work?
  3. How does sugar affect the body?
  4. How does an airplane fly?
  5. How do bees make honey?
  6. How does a tornado work?
  7. What causes a tornado?
  8. How does a wound heal?
  9. How does a can opener work?
  10. How does a bottle opener work?
  11. How do we taste food?
  12. How does fracking work?
  13. How does solar energy work?
  14. How does a submarine work?
  15. How does a lacrosse stick/tennis racquet work?


  • Start thinking about ideas for Assignment 1
  • Buy the books — readings from books begin on Thursday

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