Science in Sync: Integrating Science with Literacy Provides Rewarding Learning Opportunities in Both Subjects

By Wallace, Carolyn S.; Coffey, Debra | Science and Children, April-May 2016 | Go to article overview

Science in Sync: Integrating Science with Literacy Provides Rewarding Learning Opportunities in Both Subjects


Wallace, Carolyn S., Coffey, Debra, Science and Children


The Next Generation Science Standards' (NGSS) eight scientific and engineering practices invite teachers to develop key investigative skills while addressing important disciplinary science ideas (NGSS Lead States 2013). The NGSS can also provide direct links to Common Core English Language Arts Standards (NGAC and CCSSO 2010) to illustrate how these subject areas can work together to develop students' understandings in a holistic way. Connecting science and literacy in the elementary classroom has become common practice, as teachers can maximize time for science and energize literacy by incorporating science as a focal aspect for reading (Cervetti et al. 2012). We created an enjoyable way to closely link reading comprehension skills and scientific practices to create synergy around higher-level thinking with third- to fifth-grade students. In this article, we describe how we coached preservice elementary teacher candidates to connect hands-on science activities, reading in trade books, and close matching of the thinking skills used in both reading and science to design meaningful lessons for children in a tutorial setting. Suggestions for lessons on several science topics are included.

Lesson Framework

Science and reading are both interactive-constructive mental processes that require the learner to make meaning by connecting new information with prior knowledge. It has long been recognized that science and reading share common thinking skills, such as prediction, inference, and drawing conclusions (Holliday, Yore, and Alvermann 1994). We started with a comprehensive list of thinking skills common to both reading and science as suggested by Thier (2002) and modified by Goldston and Downey (2012) as a foundation for our activities (see Table 1). For example, proficient readers note the details in characters, scenes, and dialogue, while scientists carefully observe and note the details of physical phenomena. Similarly, both readers and scientists need to link cause and effect and make inferences to draw meaning from text and explain changes in nature. We, a science educator and a literacy educator, collaborated to invite our elementary teacher candidates to tap into these common thinking skills in a unique way. We provided a lesson plan template for the candidates to use as a basis for designing integrated science/literacy lessons, either in an after-school program at a large urban apartment complex or in one-on-one pull-out sessions from diverse classrooms (see an abbreviated version of the template in Table 2, p. 38). Most of the children were from African American or Latino/Latina backgrounds and the candidates were careful to choose culturally relevant literature that would be meaningful and significant to their students. The children ranged from struggling readers to gifted students. Some resources for finding imaginative and accurate science trade books for children include the National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council annual Outstanding Science Books list, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Books for Children list (see Internet Resources) and Picture Perfect Science books (Ansberry and Morgan 2010).

The candidates were enrolled in one of two different university courses, either a reading assessment course or a science methods course. The candidates worked in teams with one science methods student and two or more reading students to create the lesson collaboratively. We highlighted the ways the targeted reading comprehension skill and the scientific thinking skill needed to be matched or coordinated to form a holistic learning experience for the children. For example, in one class session, we had the candidates give illustrations on how thinking skills such as "predict," "infer," "link cause and effect," "compare and contrast," were used in both reading and scientific investigation. They were also asked to include the title of a fiction or nonfiction text that they would use for the lesson, along with appropriate plans for the materials, preparation, safety and technology needed to implement the lesson. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Science in Sync: Integrating Science with Literacy Provides Rewarding Learning Opportunities in Both Subjects
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.