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Inquiring Scientists, Inquiring Readers in Middle School: Using Nonfiction to Promote Science Literacy

by: Terry Shiverdecker and Jessica Fries-Gaither

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REVERE Award Winner, PreK-12 Learning Group, Association of American Publishers!
Great news for multitasking middle school teachers: Science educators Terry Shiverdecker and Jessica Fries-Gaither can help you blend inquiry-based science and literacy instruction to support student learning and maximize your time. Several unique features make Inquiring Scientists, Inquiring Readers in Middle School a valuable resource:

Lessons integrate all aspects of literacy—reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. The texts are relevant nonfiction, including trade books, newspaper and magazine articles, online material, infographics, and even videos.
A learning-cycle framework helps students deepen their understanding with data collection and analysis before reading about a concept.
Ten investigations support current standards and encompass life, physical, and Earth and space sciences. Units range from “Chemistry, Toys, and Accidental Inventions” to “Thermal Energy: An Ice Cube’s Kryptonite!”
The authors have made sure the book is teacher-friendly. Each unit comes with scientific background, a list of common misconceptions, an annotated text list, safety considerations, differentiation strategies, reproducible student pages, and assessments.

This middle school resource is a follow-up to the authors’ award-winning Inquiring Scientists, Inquiring Readers for grades 3–5, which one reviewer called “very thorough, and any science teacher’s dream to read.” The book will change the way you think about engaging your students in science and literacy.

Table of Contents




Part I: Integrating Science Instruction and Literacy

Chapter 1: Literacy in Support of Science Learning

Chapter 2: Science and Engineering Practices and the Learning Cycle

Chapter 3: Literacy in the Science Classroom

Chapter 4: Integration in Standards-Based Classrooms

Chapter 5: Getting Started With the Inquiry Units

Part II: Inquiry Units

Chapter 6: Modeling Cells

Chapter 7: The Genetic Game of Life

Chapter 8: Seriously … That’s Where the Mass of a Tree Comes From?

Chapter 9: Chemistry, Toys, and Accidental Inventions

Chapter 10: Nature’s Light Show: It’s Magnetic!

Chapter 11 Thermal Energy: An Ice Cube’s Kryptonite!

Chapter 12: Landfill Recovery

Chapter 13: Sunlight and the Seasons

Chapter 14: Getting to Know Geologic Time

Chapter 15: The Toes and Teeth of Horses

Appendix 1: Rubrics and Achievement Grading Standards

Appendix 2: Background Information: Literacy Strategies and Techniques

Appendix 3: Standards Alignment Matrices

Appendix 4: Information for Safety Data Sheets

Image Credits


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Grade Levels

Middle School


5E Earth & Space Science Inquiry Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Life Science Literacy Physical Science Teaching Strategies


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 11/30/2016Pages 355ISBN 978-1-68140-003-7Stock # PB325X2

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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