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The New Science Literacy

Using Language Skills to Help Students Learn Science

By Bennett Daviss, Marlene Thier
Foreword by Harold Pratt

Learn to teach science through language literacy. Discover the instructional synergy and power that result from combining the two subjects and see how teachers can use practical classroom techniques to combine these subjects at different grade levels, from elementary to high school.

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Whether you're a teacher new to science or a veteran teacher of science, here's a powerful new tool for teaching the subject through language literacy. This book explains how—how instructional synergy and power result from combining the two subjects. And it shows how—how teachers can use practical classroom techniques for combining these subjects at different grade levels, from elementary to high school.

Unlike other books that concentrate on reading and writing, this book defines "literacy in science" as more encompassing: it includes speaking, listening, and media analysis. In chapters devoted to each of these literacy skills, authors Marlene Thier and Bennett Daviss detail specific metacognitive techniques that teachers can use to coach students to become independent learners. By combining science, language, and guided inquiry, teachers can empower students to think and express themselves about science more effectively, improving their learning and retention. To this end, the authors provide lists of explicit performance expectations in each of the five areas of literacy for learning science. Reproducible pages including these performance expectations, graphics, and other metacognitive aids can be used by teachers and students alike to guide and assess growth in the use of language through science activities.

In addition to helping teachers in their daily teaching practices, The New Science Literacy addresses more widespread concerns among today's science educators, including the needs

  • to reassert the rightful place of science in a basic curriculum
  • to strengthen teaching skills and strategies among elementary educators unsure of science content and/or the teaching of language skills
  • to help middle- and high-school science teachers raise student achievements in science by using language as an essential element of their science programs
  • to enhance the movements for accountability, standards, and educational improvement.

As Harold Pratt, President of the National Science Teachers Association, confirms, this book "places the development of language literacy in the context of inquiry-based, activity-oriented science instruction called for in the National Science Education Standards.…[It] embraces the richness and usefulness of language as a germane aspect of students' science learning experiences."

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