As an experienced science teacher, I have noticed that most students can read stories, magazines and social media platforms with ease, but when it comes to reading informational text or their science textbook they have difficulty. One reason that I have come up with is perhaps reading informational text is viewed more like a chore and is not as pleasurable or equally satisfying as reading the latest Twitter feed or pop culture update in OK magazine because it requires a different set of skills.
Science teachers are not reading teachers and we are not expected to be (although some of our administrators may think we are both), but we have to be mindful of literacy strategies that may be useful to our students so that they may be able to read to learn and apply those skills on assessments. This is why Top Form Teaching has designed some interesting and engaging science articles that will ignite interest and curiosity in some of the most reluctant students.
Within these science articles, we focus on these specific skills:
- Identifying the main idea and supporting evidence
- Comparing and contrasting
- Relating cause and effect
- Relating text and visuals
- Sequencing events
We all want our students to be effective readers, but that can only happen if they are capable of :
- Activating prior knowledge
- Analyzing the text
- Visualizing the purpose and theme
- Questioning the text
- Making inferences
- Making judgments
- Summarizing and recalling information and
- Recognizing and acting on the things they are still uncertain about
One of the greatest benefits of these science articles are that students can make it their own by underlining or highlighting what’s important and writing notes for review to look back on when answering the reading comprehension questions.
There are several uses for these science articles. They can be used as:
- A weekly homework assignment
- Standardized test prep
- Bell ringers or warm-ups for upper grades or accelerated readers
- Emergency substitute plan
We all have those emergency sick days when we (or our kids) do not expect to wake up feeling sick. Don’t be unprepared! Keep these science articles handy for your substitute on emergency sick days.
Build your students’ vocabulary by selecting essential, high-use words found in the articles and teach their meanings. Encourage students to make a science glossary of all of the newly introduced words and develop concepts by implementing graphic organizers, charts, and concept maps. Spark class discussions and pose questions that are reflective of the concepts within the text to encourage higher order thinking.
The possibilities are endless! I personally implement these science articles in my classroom by giving them out on a Monday and picking them up for a quiz or homework grade on a Friday. Students have the whole week to work on these at their leisure or during an alternate class. Of course some students wait until Thursday night or Friday morning to do their assignment, and it is reflective in their answers. After a few weeks, the students became accustomed to the routine of the science article and looked forward to the next topic.
Download your free sample and try it out in your classroom to see if it fits your needs.
Related articles across the web