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Elementary Science

Science and Literacy

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Elena Blanco Elena Blanco 190 Points

Hello! I am a student in the education program at my University.  I have been assigned to teach a science lesson to 4th graders, but my mentor teacher has asked me to also make this lesson a literacy lesson. How do I combine these two subjects in such a way that science and literature are recognizable, but blended? 

Marina Fountain Marina Fountain 190 Points

Hey Elena, I am also currently brainstorming how to integrate science and literacy for our upcoming lesson. I too would like additional feedback, so other teachers or pre-service teachers please feel free to correct me or give better ideas. Initially I thought I would introduce a science topic with the use of a children's book and expand upon those ideas with activities and discussions. I have yet to been given a topic from my mentor teacher, but I am exploring different fourth grade science standards.  Good luck, Marina

Tara Miller Tara Miller 290 Points

We have a literacy based science curriculum at our district. One thing I really like about it is that from lesson to lesson the focus changes from science content to reading to writing. For example, we read a trade book about science concepts we are covering and one day the lessons will really emphasize using text features and structure to extract and organize the actual content information. Then we will spend a day focusing on how to think like scientists, observe, record data, etc. And then another day will be spent sharing scientific learning and ideas through different writing genres (comparison writing, claims supported by evidence, etc.). This is all built into our curriculum, however you could find articles or other sources pertaining to your content and pull in similar strategies. In the end, I find that I need my students to be critical thinkers to be successful in science (not just memorize facts and data) and one of the best bridges is to help them transfer critical reading and writing skills in order to do that.

Frieda Lamprecht Frieda Lamprecht 1555 Points

Elena, I taught 4th grade for many years and in Texas that means the writing grade! My students could write about anything by the end of the year. One thing to consider...85% of what scientists do is language based. Whether it is using visual literacy to read information from a graphic, or reading or communication through writing or orally, scientists have to convey what they are thinking and questioning in a way that others will understand. They also have to understand what other scientists are saying and writing about. Science is a collaborative field full of communication. Also remember that most of what we do in the form of literacy is using technology, so use the apps/technology you might use to engage students in literacy adventures. So in addition to reading a book and talking about/connecting the ideas in the trade book, you might try some of the following: Interview a landform. How did it form? What is its life story? (Pairs) Use an app such as ChatterPix to have an animal tell about its adaptations. You can use this for word banks too. Use blogs to allow students to explain what they observed. Use Mindomo to have students make a mindmap of an article or to generate ideas about a topic. They can share here. Have students take digital pictures and describe what they observed in their investigations. Write about two tools having an argument (dialogue) about who is the best tool to measure. Have students write ways they can measure a puddle. Have a talk show host write interview questions for the planets. Have another students write back as the planet. Have students write a giant postcard from a landform, planet, or as a scientist telling about his/her latest discovery. Use pictures from a unit (Animals, earth changes, etc.) to generate students' questions and ideas to explore and/ or research. Use current events and websites like, or to generate ideas and analyze current cutting edge science and make predictions about what these new discoveries mean for us. How will they change our lives? Get creative. Students do not like to be bored and if you give them a choice in how they approach showing what they learned, it is a win-win for all. Have fun!

Elizabeth Mason Elizabeth 10 Points

Begin the lesson with a read-aloud session of a science-themed book. After reading, engage the students in a discussion about the scientific content and encourage them to make connections between the story and real-world scientific concepts. Donkey Kong is an exciting adventure game. Start with simple levels and get more difficult.

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