Integrating Literacy Strategies into Science Instruction

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards by several states, teachers across the academic disciplines have been called on to support students in attending to literacy tasks in their subjects in a more intensive way. Science teachers, trained to be content specialists, benefit from receiving professional development in how to explicitly use literacy strategies to support their students’ content understanding. In response to this need, The American Museum of Natural History designed and implemented a series professional development workshops that showed teachers how to integrate literacy strategies into their science instruction. The videos, produced by AMNH, feature teachers who have experienced this professional development at the Museum. The videos capture teachers in their actual classrooms, utilizing literacy strategies within their science lessons. These strategies can be applied to any science content area. The goal of these videos is to paint a picture of the use of literacy strategies to support students’ science content learning in the classroom.

For more information contact Dora Kastel at dkastel@amnh.org.

Paraphrasing

Curriculum Materials

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing gives students a tool for monitoring their own comprehension as they read science text.

Summarizing in Science

Curriculum Materials

Summarizing in Science

Summarizing text helps readers make meaning of complex science material, as demonstrated in this middle school classroom.

Interactive Read-Alouds

Curriculum Materials

Interactive Read-Alouds

This strategy provides students with a shared experience around a text relevant to the science content about which they are learning. 

Interactive Reading Guides

Curriculum Materials

Interactive Reading Guides

This strategy provides a way for students to read a text independently with peer interaction and coaching from the teacher.

Vocabulary Instruction

Curriculum Materials

Vocabulary Instruction

Vocabulary terms found in complex science texts can present major obstacles for students, but teachers can make decisions ahead of time that will help facilitate student comprehension.

Writing a Scientific Explanation

Curriculum Materials

Writing a Scientific Explanation

A writing scaffold, called the Explanation Tool, can help students in science classrooms make sense of natural phenomena and develop explanations for those phenomena. 

These resources were developed with the generous support of The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation.