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Elementary Science

Literature in Science

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Katie Balderas Katie Balderas 60 Points

Science is the one subject, in my opinion, in which you can do so much with; Explore, Experiment, Investiagte, Create, etc. and still envolve reading with all you teach. An example on incorporating Literature in Science is by teaching a lesson on ecosytems and reading a book to your students to give them knowledge and then go even further by having them create mini ecosystems in 2-liter bottles. 

Terri Worrel Terri Worrel 675 Points

This is a great idea.  I'm always looking for ways to incorporate science into my ELA and math lessons since the science blocks in school are so limited.  I can see with a little creativity I can probably do some type of science with just about every lesson I teach.

Amanda Zopfi Amanda Zopfi 1120 Points

I completely agree! Incorporating Literature into Science or vice versa is so important since Science does not get taught in elementary schools as often as it should. I also think a great idea is to read the student's short books about different scientists or have them do reports on different scientists so they can expand their knowledge. If the students are learning about electricity, then a book on Tesla or Edison can go along with it, or a book on the Wright Brothers when learning about flight. 

Sydne Arnold Sydne Arnold 925 Points

Yes, and I think it's powerful to recognize that literature is more than the use of tradebooks, chapter books or articles. It's utilizing the foundational language skills like comprehension, and reading to learn.  Using vocabulary and pairing it with an investigation or experiment is active engagement for science and literacy.  Or even considering how the components of an experiment and knowing what math language is being used to interpret measurement units and how to use them in a formula. Literacy has so much application for content specific skills and that in itself is so exciting and rewarding, if your students see it that way too.  

Anyone have ideas for adapting science literacy for differentiation with special education or IEP students?

Alex Hofacker Alexandria Hofacker 385 Points

I love integrating literature with all contents.  Picture books are my best friend with this.  There is never a student too old to enjoy a read aloud and picture books are a neat and quick way to get students thinking about a concept no matter the content.  There are tons on picture books that can be used in science.  This year in my student teaching on the first day of school we used The Science Verse by Jon Scieszka to introduce some of the science concepts to our 4th graders.  I sang it when I read it becuase they go along with some common tunes to songs.  Lots of fun!

Leslie Hernandez Leslie Hernandez 510 Points

Due to the fact that science is not tested in elementary until the fifth grade, it is unfortunately not prioritized in classrooms. Therefore, I completely agree that incorporating science as other subjects are being taught is one of the most efficient ways to give students the opportunity to experience more science content. For example, a lesson about how pollution affects our Earth can incorporate math as the percentages of the effects play a major role in the data collected to back up this statement. I think it's really important for students to get the most they possibly can out of every subject regardless if there will be a state administered exam for that subject or not at the end of the year. There are many different ways in which teachers can increase science related lessons due to its complexity and the need to read, make calculations, and understand the history of any topic within this subject. 

Erica FUENTES Erica FUENTES 105 Points

I think incorporating literature in science is pretty neat! From what I have seen in observing classrooms,  a science class only happens once or twice a week so if we can incorporate science into literature, students can receive more science classes a week that way.

Kathy Renfrew Kathy Renfrew 37248 Points

I am mostly in agreement with everything being said here. The one piece that is different is that I make sure the literacy piece supports the standards I am trying to address within my topic. I also have to say that I didn't always think this through completely when I was in the classroom.

Joanne Park Joanne Park 685 Points


I think when tou integrate literature with all contents, it give you more time for students to explor topic since content in elementary is such a short time specially in primary grade. I think integrting literature with all contents is such a good idea and good way to teach literacy skills while students are learning about the science and social studies!

Kelsie Haughey Kelsie Haughey 1320 Points

Hello there!

I completely agree with the fact that you can incorporate literacy into a science lesson. I recently created a STEM activity on Light Energy for my students to complete in class, and I introduced the lesson by reading the book Light: Shadows, Mirrors, and Rainbows by Natalie Myra Rosinsky. The students throughly enjoyed the book and it brought in a literary concept for them. If I wanted to take the literary connection a step further, I could've also had the students complete a writing reflection piece at the end of the lesson. I also found that you can incorporate a lot of math components when teaching science as well. Students could be doing an activity that includes something as simple as counting. 

Science is a very fun subject to teach, and I love the fact you can incoporate other academic areas in it as well.

Shannon Sommer Shannon Sommer 1470 Points

Hey Ya'll!

I'm really glad I found this thread.  The struggle is real trying to find ways to integrate STEM into Literacy versus Literacy into STEM! I really like the suggestion of picture books but I am also trying to follow a required mid-level reading list.  I was able to complete a STEAM project where I had the students create a medieval waterwheel in connection to the book, Crispin.  I don’t know how truly effective the lesson was at teaching force and motion but the kids did at least have fun and I was able to sell it to administration- so I guess that was a success? LOL

Overall though, I just feel extremely insecure trying to integrate Science and Math into an ELAR classroom.  If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears!

Thanks in advance!  I’m very interested to see what other commenters have to say on the topic.


Jessica Speake Jessica Speake 1755 Points

Integrating literacy into science doesn't have to be challenging! In fact, it can be quite simple and not very time consuming to find ways to integrate literacy into science, while also making the science lesson all the more fun for students. For elementary students, read alouds are a great way to kick off a science topic or lesson. This is engaging for students and can get their brains thinking about the science topic at hand. There are so many great books to choose from that can be easy to find online. While reading is one aspect of literacy, I believe it is also important to include writing into science. One example that comes to mind involves the dreaded lab reports for most students. You can change what may be boring, technical lab reports to some students into a multigenre writing project. Students could choose the form of writing they want to create, such as a short story, brochure, or comic, and write their science report in that genre of writing. Using a simple rubric or checklist of requirements, it would be easy to keep this science based, while also incorporating several types of writing.

Crystal Carrillo Crystal Carrillo 520 Points

 I think incorporating literature in science is a really good idea! From what I have seen in observing classrooms and as a substitue teacher, teachers tend to teach science once or twice a week unless its a testes subject, so if we can incorporate science into literature, students can receive more science instruction a week than normal.

Joana Zarazua Joana Zarazua 480 Points

It is a great idea it can be science being incorporated into literature or the other way around, but it can also be implembeted in math assigments and activities. This way the students are more exposed to sciencce and see a patern where they see that all the subject go hand in hand and can be interesting. 

Julissa Flores Julissa Flores 900 Points

Yes, I agree science needs to be incorporated more in elementary so students can like science more and actually have fun with it once they go to middle school. Like that there would be a lot of students who enjoy science and wants to know more about science and what else we can do with science. Teachers should focus more on the use of science like reading and math. 

Estrell Mamonese Estrell Mamonese 240 Points

Science is certainly interesting. When I was 15 years old, I loved it. But then the fascination quickly passed. I prefer reading now. For example 'popol vuh', I use for that. It seems to me this way you can become much faster educated than to delve into one area of science. In books, of course, everything is written that is related to science, but it's still not as interesting as regular books. It's not even necessary to argue, I think.

Alyssa Ganzert Alyssa Ganzert 940 Points

Since curriculum in elementary school is covered in such a short amount of time, especially in primary school, I believe that integrating literature with all subjects gives you more time for students to explore a topic. Integrating literature with all content is, in my opinion, a great idea and effective way to teach reading skills to students as they study science and social studies.

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