Negotiating Science by Brian Hand, Lori Norton-Meier, Jay Staker,
Negotiating Science
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Negotiating Science

The Critical Role of Argument in Student Inquiry, Grades 5-10

The best way to transform students’ scientific thinking is by transforming their science writing. Help them move from writing rote procedures to the kind of writing that real scientists do—posing questions, documenting evidence, making claims, and sharing data.

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Full Description

Knowing from the inside out how argument works is a literacy skill now universally recognized as essential. This is the goal of real reading, writing, and speaking—and finally the gift of real science. I am grateful to the authors of this volume for making these gifts available to science and literacy teachers, but most importantly, to all of our students.
—Wendy Saul
Author of Science Workshop
The best way to transform students’ scientific thinking is by transforming their science writing. Writing is thinking and with Negotiating Science you’ll move from rote procedures to the kind of writing that real scientists do. Your students will learn to negotiate meaning from the results of their work and to argue for their ideas—posing questions, documenting evidence, making claims, and sharing data. Perfect for science notebooks!
Leading you through an argument-based approach to science writing that is grounded in highly effective practices, Negotiating Science:
  • demonstrates what good science arguments look like through student samples.
  • models and supports top-notch instruction through teaching tools and templates adaptable to any classroom.
  • contains guidelines that make assessment seamless and manageable.
  • includes “Have a Go” activities help you make the transition from traditional science writing to argument-based writing.
Best of all, the writing Negotiating Science advocates can support your school’s nonfiction and content-area writing goals.
Give students the chance to deepen their connection to science by writing for authentic purposes. See the dramatic difference it makes when students negotiate the meaning of concepts and content the way real scientists do. All while you meet schoolwide writing objectives. Read Negotiating Science and unlock the power of writing in your science classroom. 



Introduction: It’s All About Learning

I. Examining Teaching in the Service of Learning

  1. Introduction to the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) Approach
  2. What Do We Have to Know? (Theory and Practice)
  3. Teaching Skills Key to the SWH Approach
  4. Writing in the Science Classroom


II. Examining the Science Writing Heuristic Approach

  1. Getting Started with the SWH Approach          
  2. Questions, Investigations, and Justifying Claims with Evidence
  3. Reading and Reflection
  4. Wrapping Up an SWH Unit: The Summary-Writing Experience

III. Examining Our Own Practice

  1. Measuring Your Progress
  2. Frequently Asked Questions and Benefits of the SWH Approach


Have a Go Appendix

  1. The Start of Your Journey
  2. Your Teacher Voice
  3. Aligning Learning and Teaching
  4. Negotiating Your Own Meaning
  5. Examining Conceptual Frameworks
  6. Management vs. Teaching
  7. Custom Professional Development Program Design
  8. What Do You and Your Students Think about Teaching and Learning?
  9. Student Questions
  10. Using Questions to Guide Discussion
  11. Making Claims, Providing Evidence
  12. Assessing Student Writing