Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

Although the fact is not often recognized by educators, science and literacy are connected. As teachers, we must begin to recognize and leverage the role of language in science and this can be done with low-cost, readily-available educational DVDs.

Critical to science inquiry are the skills of reading, writing, and oral communication. For example, in science, we:

o Often read volumes of information before beginning experiments

o Write (almost continuously) to record experiments in minute detail

o Present scientific findings for others to read and evaluate

Educational standards for both science and English/language arts also dictate that science education involve more than acquisition of the scientific skills and facts, such as:

o writing procedures

o following procedures

o expressing concepts

o reviewing information

o summarizing data

o effective use of language

o constructing a reasoned argument

o responding appropriately to critique

When seeking to link science and literacy in the classroom, the goal is to address the four primary literacy components inherently present in science: Science Talks/Discussions, Science Notebooks, Reading Expository Text, and Formal Scientific Reports.

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How Educational DVDs Can Help

Science Talks/Discussions – after viewing one or more educational DVDs on a particular topic, students discuss what they learned or present an oral report

Science Notebooks – students record in their notebooks, the findings from an educational DVD demonstrating a lab experiment

Reading Expository Text – students view an educational DVD, read expository text on the same subject and discuss how the writer captured (or did not capture) the appropriate information

Formal Scientific Reports – after viewing several educational DVDs on the same topic and taking notes, students are charged with creating a formal scientific report

Example Lessons for Integrating Literacy Education in Science

Unit: Electric Circuits

Lesson 1 – Discuss what the students already know about electric circuits, have them create drawings showing their thoughts

Lesson 2 – Show one or more educational DVDs on electric circuits

Lesson 3 – Allow students to work with batteries, bulbs, wires, motors to explore electric circuits and keep a science notebook on their findings.

Lesson 4 – Have students orally report their findings to the class using their notebook entries to support their conclusions

Lesson 5 – Have students read high-quality informational texts and make inferences from the material presented

Lesson 6 – Have students create a formal scientific report

The example above is provided only as a starting point for teachers. Overall change in classroom practice can only happen with additional reflection, study, and dialogue among teachers.

By rahul