Integrating Informational Text and Science Through the Polar Regions


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This presentation was given at the IRA Southeast Regional conference in Nashville, TN in December 2008.

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  • Identifying Similarities and Differences was the literacy focus of Issue 1: A Sense of Place (March 2008).
  • Cause and effect was the literacy focus of Issue 3: Polar Patterns: Day, Night, and Seasons (May 2008).
  • Determining Importance was the literacy focus of Issue 6: Rocks and Minerals (September 2008).
  • Note taking was the literacy focus of Issue 7: Energy and the Polar Environment (October 2008).
  • Integrating Informational Text and Science Through the Polar Regions

    1. 1. Integrating Informational Text and Science Through the Polar Regions Jessica Fries-Gaither Elementary Resource Specialist and Project Director Ohio State University [email_address]
    2. 2. Today’s Presentation <ul><li>Project Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating Science and Literacy: Informational Text </li></ul><ul><li>Resources, activities, and support from Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears </li></ul>Jef Maion ( Resource list provided
    3. 3. Integrating polar science and literacy in K-5 classrooms This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Nick Russill
    4. 4. The International Polar Year Will Steger An international, interdisciplinary, collaborative research effort from March 2007 to March 2009 Over 200 research projects and 60 countries involved Focused on understanding the Arctic and Antarctica and modeling the changes in a warming world 4th official International Polar Year (1882-3, 1932-3,1957-8)
    5. 5. Monthly thematic issues of a free online magazine: <ul><li>Issues reflect topics from elementary science curricula </li></ul><ul><li>Each issue includes: </li></ul><ul><li>Content Knowledge Lessons & Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Bookshelf Teaching & Assessment Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Integration Cross curricular connections Standards alignment </li></ul>U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    6. 6. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears blog <ul><li>News from the polar regions </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly polar news roundups </li></ul><ul><li>Polar research </li></ul> National Science Foundation
    7. 7. Project Partners
    8. 8. Why integrate science and literacy? <ul><li>Overlap of science process and literacy skills </li></ul><ul><li>Increased learning and achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Real world context for reading, writing, and discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Gives students a voice in science </li></ul><ul><li>Help students develop 21 st century skills </li></ul><ul><li>Information and media literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Critical thinking and systems thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Problem identification, formulation, and solution </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity and intellectual curiosity </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal and collaborative skills </li></ul><ul><li>Self-direction </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability and adaptability </li></ul><ul><li>Social responsibility </li></ul>
    9. 9. How can you integrate science and literacy? <ul><li>Pair hands-on science with a literacy focus </li></ul><ul><li>Teach reading comprehension strategies with informational text </li></ul><ul><li>Read and write science poetry </li></ul><ul><li>Use science notebooks </li></ul>Steve Hillebrand, USFWS
    10. 10. Why Informational Text? <ul><li>Key to success in later schooling </li></ul><ul><li>Widely used in “real world” </li></ul><ul><li>Preferred by some students </li></ul><ul><li>Builds on curiosity; addresses interests and questions </li></ul><ul><li>Builds background knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>May help build vocabulary and literacy knowledge </li></ul>Yet, informational text is underrepresented in the primary and elementary grades. US Fish and Wildlife
    11. 11. Using Informational Text <ul><li>Foster interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Use lower and higher-level questions </li></ul><ul><li>Help students make connections </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time discussing technical vocabulary and organizational features </li></ul><ul><li>Apply comprehension strategies </li></ul>Read-alouds Shared reading Guided reading Independent reading With all types of reading…
    12. 12. Virtual Bookshelf <ul><li>Written by a children’s librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily nonfiction </li></ul><ul><li>Books support science content of issue </li></ul><ul><li>Pair with science lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Polar book club on Shelfari </li></ul>
    13. 13.
    14. 14. Nonfiction stories for students <ul><li>Feature Story column of the magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Available at three grade levels (K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) </li></ul><ul><li>Available as text, illustrated book, and electronic book </li></ul><ul><li>Paired with a reading strategy and a content knowledge article </li></ul>
    15. 16. Illustrated Book
    16. 17. Electronic Book
    17. 18. Teaching reading strategies with Beyond Penguins informational text Each month’s Feature Story is paired with a reading strategy Reading (and re-reading) story allows students to learn science content and practice key reading comprehension strategies Content knowledge articles and templates provide support for students and teachers. Sue Sheridan
    18. 19. Identify Similarities and Differences <ul><li>Students learn about the polar regions </li></ul><ul><li>through content area reading: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonfiction articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Bookshelf </li></ul></ul>Graphic Organizer helps students organize information
    19. 20. Cause and Effect Use science text to teach signal words and the text structure of cause and effect. Nick Russill
    20. 21. Determining Importance Students read the article, “Reader of the Rocks” and classify sentences as main ideas or interesting details.
    21. 22. Note Taking Teach students to take notes by recording key words, paraphrased definitions, and by creating graphic representations of information.
    22. 23. Pairing Science and Literacy Lessons <ul><li>Hands-on science lessons for grades K-2 and 3-5 </li></ul><ul><li>Science lessons are paired with literacy lessons for easy integration </li></ul><ul><li>NSES and NCTE/IRA standards alignment </li></ul>
    23. 24. Pairing Science and Literacy: Solar Energy <ul><li>Hands-on Investigations </li></ul><ul><li>The Warmth of the Sun </li></ul><ul><li>Our Super Star </li></ul><ul><li>What Color Absorbs the Sun’s Energy Best? </li></ul><ul><li>Content area Reading </li></ul>Question-and-Answer books - Gather information from investigations and nonfiction text - Organize with KWL charts, and create a book.
    24. 25. Interested in Learning More? BPPB magazine BPPB blog BPPB Shelfari Group Post: Informational Text and the Polar Regions Monthly “tours” of latest BPPB issue