I have been an educator for many years now, mostly teaching middle school science. Early in my career, I was disheartened to learn that science was thought of as the “fun” class or the “easy” class. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have fun and I think science is as fun as it gets but in middle-school-speak this translated to the “I don’t have to work, it’s an easy A” class. I have worked hard throughout my career to change this prospective, showing students and colleagues alike that the study of science is rigorous and involves math, reading, and writing (plus lots of projects and labs… naturally). But it’s also not something to shy away from! Through science we discover all about ourselves and our world, just like we do with literature! So it seems perfectly natural to me that these two disciplines should go hand in hand.
Encouraging students to see connections across curricular areas has long been touted as a rewarding and successful way to heighten student interest and engagement. It is also a key tenet of the Common Core Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. As a middle school science teacher, I loved drawing on literature to enhance our science studies! Bringing science to life through the creativity and imagination of a great story is a fantastic way to engage students, especially those who may not be as interested in science. It also helps students see connections between different disciplines.
In my current position as a 5th grade teacher at an elementary school with a science focus, I have the opportunity to really focus on thematic teaching and interdisciplinary instruction. I am a strong advocate of interdisciplinary instruction which I promote in my lessons, even when I taught middle school science! My education includes a bachelor’s degree in Science and a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction. I am excited to share some of my ideas, tips and even lessons with you! You will likely find that most of them are driven from a science theme but involve aspects of writing, math, and engineering. With Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards well under way and an ever-increasing number of jobs in the science and technology fields, innovative science lessons that include reading, writing and math have never been more important!
I hope that the book reviews and activities you find on this site inspire you and your students to make new connections! Enjoy!