There are a variety of ways for teachers to make sure they are integrating science and literacy. When science has a blend of hands-on labs and literacy-based activities, students are more likely to develop a deep understanding of the concepts. Students will engage in critical thinking skills, deeper level thinking, and truly interact with the material. Here are some ideas for integrating science and literacy in your classroom.
Reading passages are a great way for students to engage with the material. Let students know it is okay to stop while reading to jot down questions or ask for help! Integrating science and literacy allows students to see the importance of active reading.
Each unit begins with a reading passage over the topic. The length is age-appropriate and includes beautiful illustrations and images. The print and digital passages can be read as a class, small-group, or independently. In addition to this, there are visual aids so students see what they are reading about.
In this Inherited Traits and Learned Behaviors Comprehension Unit, students determine whether a physical trait is inherited and if a behavior is learned or an instinct. Another great literacy connection involves students using context clues to define these terms.
After reading, students have a few questions to answer that check their level of understanding. If needed, students can go back and review the passage while answering. In addition, there is also a question where students write out their answer. This is a great way to work on writing skills. By using this type of question, students can explain the content in their own words.
Sorting activities are great to use in any subject! In addition, sorting activities can be implemented in science while incorporating literacy. A print and digital sorting activity is included in each of the science reading comprehension units.
In the Rotation and Revolution Comprehension Unit, students have two categories: rotation and revolution. They also receive twelve descriptions and images. Students place each description or image in one of the two categories based on what they learned in the reading passage.
Another great way to incorporate literacy in science is to have a text-based assessment to check for understanding. Questions on the assessment reflect the content in the passages. Students have already answered text-based questions and practiced the content in the sorting activity.
My favirite part is that the assessments are on Google Forms in addition to the print version. This makes it easy for you to interpret the results for reteaching and differentiating instruction.
Science classrooms can incorporate literacy in a variety of ways. Each of the above activities allows students to practice their reading skills and check their comprehension while learning science content. Whether you are in a self-contained classroom or teaching science to various groups, literacy can be embedded throughout lessons. It is a skill needed for life and students will be grateful for all the practice!