Resourceful Science Integration

Article excerpt

Byline: Dwight Schuster and Kimberly Jovic

Science is often viewed in elementary and intermediate schools as a separate subject to be taught as time permits. However, teachers and administrators in K-6 settings are beginning to recognize the importance of integrating science as a result of newly implemented high-stakes state science exams and mounting educational research, which recognizes that learners naturally organize problems and topics into coherent wholes (Bransford, Brown, and Cocking 2002).

Since 2003, Science and Children has published a number of issues that have focused specifically on science integration:

Issue

Title of Issue

Oct 2003

Science and Literature Connections

Jan 2004

Integrating Mathematics and Science

Nov/Dec 2004

Writing to Learn Science

March 2005

Science and Social Studies

Sept 2005

Art and Science Integration

Nov/Dec 2005

Writing to Learn Science

Nov 2006

Reading Strategies for Science

Recognizing that many other issues of Science and Children also contain helpful and varied examples of science integration that might be more pertinent to a particular classroom setting, we decided to compile an annotated bibliography using issues from the last 12 years, excluding those listed above. Initially, we generated this list to help the students in our teacher education program in integrating science with the other content areas during their student teaching experiences, but we think the list would be useful to any teacher interested in achieving more seamless integration in their classroom and decided to share it here. The list is not exhaustive; you may find others to add by searching the NSTA archives. Science and Children archives are available free to NSTA members at www.nsta.org/elementaryschool#journal. (Non-members should head to their local library with this list in hand.) With the provided information, integrated curriculum ideas are just a click away.

Art

Drawing on Student Understanding By Mary Stein, Shannan McNair, and Jan Butcher. January 2001, 38(4): 18-22. This article discusses how art can be used as a tool for deepening scientific concept knowledge and provides ideas for how to create a successful integrated learning experience for seven- to twelve-year-olds.

Recycling Into Art By Debra Fioranelli. October 2000, 38(2): 30-33. This article describes a third-grade unit that integrates science with art in a school lacking a formal art program.

Art, Language Arts

Project Reptile By Deborah Diffily. April 2001, 38(7): 30-35. This article provides a detailed overview of a kindergarten reptile project with an associated timeline.

The Tree of Life By Donna M. Plummer, Jeannie MacShara, and Skila King Brown. March 2003, 40(6): 18-21. A college professor, student teacher, and K-1 classroom teacher create an interdisciplinary lesson based on the book Tree of Life: The World of the African Baobab. The concepts of cycles and the interdependence of plants and animals are introduced.

Art, Language Arts, Math, History

Dinosaur Day By Sandra Nakamura and H. Prentice Baptiste. January 2006, 43(4): 38-42. Fourth-grade students rotate through four dinosaur-related learning stations that integrate science content in a fun and time-efficient manner.

Art, Music

Diving Into a School-Wide Science Theme By Michael Lee, Maria Lostoski, and Kathy Williams. September 2000, 38(1): 31-35. A K-6 school begins each year with a science theme, which encourages faculty to implement innovative curricula that unifies students through their common learning experiences.

Language Arts

Leaders, Readers, and Science By Arlene G. Terrell. September 2001, 39(1): 28-33. This interdisciplinary, cooperative-learning unit for sixth graders is based on reading historical novels about 19th- and 20th-century explorers who used math and astronomy to guide them. …