For a long time, there was a push to rely only on science textbooks to teach science. Then, we shifted to being completely activity-based. Now, I think we’re on the right track where we teach science and literacy together. That does not mean that students just read about science. They read about science, do science, observe science, model science, practice science, calculate science, draw science, and create science!
This blog post includes 4 ways to integrate science and literacy. I’m sure there are hundreds, but this is a good start!
Students read diagrams, draw diagrams, and interpret diagrams. In the photo, there is a drawing from a stations activity where students read a short text that explains why the sun appears to move across the sky. Then, students drew a diagram to explain it.
To start off, I have students draw copies of diagrams so they begin to notice the details, arrows, words, little things that they might not otherwise pay attention to. Using the diagram in the picture below, you can have students write a brief text that would accompany the diagram. Or, you could just provide the picture and they write a caption. OR, you could provide the diagram and text, and they write the caption. (This is what I like to start with.)
Students read and then complete a poster that has graphic organizers. They have to go back to the text in order to complete it. This provides excellent practice for referring back to the text. For the past couple of months, students read about different topics depending on what they need to work on, then made a poster to show their learning.
3. Read the Text and the Pictures
My students are so visual! We read the text and identify how the photograph supports the text. When they read a short science text in small group, I also have them make inferences about the photographs.
After reading a short text, make a model. In the picture below, we did a close reading of a text about day and night. Then, students used the available materials to make a model of the reason for day and night. They documented all of this in their science notebooks.
Science literacy has been on my mind a lot lately with my newest product, Differentiated Science & Literacy Comprehension Bundle. See more on TpT!