Academic journal article Language Arts

Science Notebooks Second Edition: Writing about Inquiry

Academic journal article Language Arts

Science Notebooks Second Edition: Writing about Inquiry

Article excerpt

Science Notebooks Second Edition: Writing about Inquiry by Lori Fulton and Brian Campbell, Heinemann, 2014, 128 pp., ISBN 978-0-32505659-3

Writing is used as a tool for thinking in scientific inquiry. It is a means for developing understanding and gaining new insights. Abstract concepts encountered in science class cannot merely be transmitted from a textbook to the student. Students must engage with the concepts in order to really understand. This is the power of writing in the content areas. Through writing, students try out new ideas, record their emerging questions, and internalize ways of talking and writing about science concepts. One way to provide essential time for writing is through implementing science notebooks in the classroom.

In order to use science notebooks effectively, teachers must understand the process children will go through as science writers. Just as children are learning science concepts, they are also developing as writers and thinkers. In this second edition, authors Lori Fulton and Brian Campbell provide elementary teachers with ways to scaffold students as they learn to record their observations and thinking. The first chapter is an explicit description of how to implement science notebooks in the classroom. Here, as well as throughout the book, classroom vignettes are told from a teacher's point of view. This chapter also has a weekly plan to help teachers get started.

Chapter two includes the elements that will ultimately be explored in science notebooks as children develop skill as science writers. Each element is discussed in detail, including questioning, planning, recording observations, drawing, organizing, and recording thinking. …

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