Science and Literacy Activities

This is going to be a short and sweet post! I wanted to share with you all the science and literacy resources I have been working on. Each resource comes with three components:

  1. Reading Passage to annotate
  2. Foldables for Interactive Notebook
  3. Reading Strategy Page
  4. Some of them even tie into the doodle notes I have created – depending on the topic!

I made some of these resources to help out a co-worker who needed some literacy activities for her students. I also, however, created them because I noticed my students didn’t quite grasp how to closely read and find information. They want everything handed to them, but we as adults know that isn’t how it works sometimes.

I encourage you to look through them and try them out for yourself. Thanks so much for reading!

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Inertia Science and Literacy Activities (Newton's 1st Law of Motion)

Newton and Gravity - Science and Literacy Activities

Universe Expansion - Red Shift and Doppler Effect - Science and Lit Activities

Cell Theory Science and Literacy Activities

 

The Reading Strategies Book

I am convinced (along with many of you) that all teachers no matter what the content/subject area are reading teachers. As I was perusing some of my favorite teacher youtubers, I came across this great resource. It was reviewed by the Lettered Classroom and Tina Beitler. They both ranted and raved about the strategies presented along with the anchor chart ideas built into the book. I decided to get a copy, and I do not regret it.

I was worried after purchasing that this was going to be a book totally geared toward ELA teachers and not useful for me in the science classroom. And while it does have the language of an ELA teacher’s resource, it still provides valuable strategies to use across content areas.

There are four sections in the book that focus on nonfiction reading strategies. Within these sections is where I found some great ideas. One idea that I use quite frequently is the boxes and bullets strategy. The book explains how to teach students to pull bullet point ideas from their reading in orderly to concisely comprehend the text. It also goes on to show an anchor chart/handout to use with students.

This is not a sponsored post by any stretch of the imagination. I just simply wanted to recommend a good resource if you are wanting to up your literacy game. What strategies do you use in your class?

Want to know more about the Reading Strategies Book – Check out this article! 

Close Reading in Science

Everyone is a reading teacher. This is an idea that I don’t think I understood in my early days as a teacher. Before I taught science, I majored in ELA and never thought about hos the strategies that I used in ELA were actually valuable tools for my colleagues in other content areas.

However, now that I’m in my eighth year of teaching, I realize that we are all reading teachers in some way, shape or form. Reading is the key to our content and we cannot teach without it.

A few years back I realized that my students needed a way to comprehend text. They would read an article and get to the end of it without knowing what they read. After a lot of research I found the close reading strategy, and it is a strategy that now frequents my classroom.

What is close reading? 

Close reading is a way of breaking down the text into bite sized chunks and then adding annotations to the side. The steps to close reading differ from person to person. Here are the steps that I teach my students.

  1. Circle the Title and make a prediction about what the article will be about.
  2. Chunk the Text and number your Chunks.
  3. Underline or Highlight key words (could be words you don’t know or vocabulary words)
  4. In the Right Margin – write the main idea of each chunk
  5. In the Left Margin – make connections (what does this remind you of, do you have a question about this chunk, etc)
  6. Central Idea – at the end of the article tell what the article was about in 1-2 sentences.

Now, I don’t just give my students the steps and let them loose. Usually I model this process several times before allowing them to do it on their own. Check out these pictures of what articles look like after close reading:

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When I finally let my students try this on their own we read the article once as a whole class and then they go through the article with annotation task cards. The more students interact with a text – the more they comprehend!!

Want more help with close reading? 

FREEBIE – this is my quick guide to help you launch close reading in your classroom. Includes an example, the steps mentioned above and a foldable to use with any article!

Close Reading in Science Quickstart

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Thanks so much for visiting my blog! What are some strategies that you use in your classroom to aid in comprehension? Leave your ideas below!

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Teacher Feature: Smith Science & Lit

Two years ago I found these awesome resources for incorporating reading into science. The resources were called Read and Apply, and they completely changed the way I present articles to my students.

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These products are created by an awesome teacher, Jess Smith. She has a background similar to mine in that she has taught science and ELA. This is an awesome asset to have with the focus on adding literacy into science.

Smith, like me, also uses interactive notebooks in her classroom and finds it to be an asset for the students. Sort of like they are creating their own textbook as the year progresses.

However, one of the biggest issues that I have found her products address is the issue of comprehension. Many times my students read something and cannot tell you what they read. Then if you ask questions, they cannot give you the answer because they struggle that much with comprehension.

Here is a brief explanation from her blog about how she uses her read and apply products to target comprehension:

“So on top of using our textbooks, I started creating activities for students to read and then an application activity that goes directly with their reading. These reading passages are SHORT (which the kids love) and easy to understand. This allows students to use MULTIPLE texts to comprehend a science concept. The reading passage can be glued into their notebooks, folders, or even on a piece of construction paper while students do the activity on the opposite side. The passages them allow for students to highlight, underline, circle, and take notes in the margin (which they CANNOT do in a textbook!!)

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After they read, they then do a HANDS ON activity to help them comprehend what they just read. FORGET answering questions at the end of the chapter or section! These activities push for higher level thinking and comprehension. I also include a writing prompt for each activity – a great opportunity for students to practice writing (they ALL need that, amen!?)”

So if your students struggle with comprehension, I really encourage you to check out this amazing teacher-author! Have you tried any of her activities? If so leave a comment below 🙂

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Check out her freebie on TpT by clicking the following image – original-2018611-1

 

 

A “Rock”-ing Autobiography

Recently there has been a push to add more writing in all content areas. Being from an ELA background I have welcomed this with open arms. I love writing and being able to see the creativity of my students through their writing.

We just finished a unit over the rock cycle, and to close our unit I created an assignment. My students had to pretend they were a piece of sand at the bottom of a river and write about how they became a rock and went through the rock cycle. They had an option to write a story or create a comic strip. I am very impressed with what they came up with. I had some stories about the sediment floating by SpongeBob’s pineapple and others about the rock being crushed in Super-Mario.

Here are a couple of examples that I thought really displayed their understanding of the rock cycle!

Story Choice

Comic Choice

If you think you would like to use this in your classroom, I made a downloadable product on TeachersPayTeachers. Just click the picture below:

Rocking Autobiography - Rock Cycle Writing Task