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Reading Science

Practical Strategies for Integrating Instruction

Literacy skills are a critical—yet often overlooked—part of science instruction. In Reading Science Jennifer Altieri uses her extensive experience to show you how effectively science and literacy can be integrated. You'll find strategies you can use in your classroom right away and guidance for intentionally weaving literacy into science instruction throughout the year.

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How can we prepare our students to think, read, and write like scientists?

In Reading Science, Jennifer Altieri reminds us that literacy skills aren’t add-ons to the science class—they are critical parts of instruction. She addresses the need for both literacy and science skills in our classrooms to prepare our students for the future challenges they will meet.

Strategies you can use right away

Filled with practical strategies customized for science classrooms based on Jennifer’s decades of experience connecting content areas with literacy, this book supports:

  • teaching students to be critical consumers of scientific information they read, regardless of the source or type of text
  • developing students’ interest in scientific vocabulary and rich understanding of how words relate to each other
  • encouraging collaboration as students seek answers to scientific questions and communicate their findings.

Science requires specialized literacy demands

Our students should be prepared for not only the science class as we know it today but for future science classes and the world beyond. To create classrooms that support this kind of learning, we must use literacy as a tool to help students access science content, communicate their ideas precisely, and apply their discoveries in new contexts.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)




Chapter 1 Making the Science-Literacy Connection
Chapter 2
Expanding Our Vision of Scientific Texts
Chapter 3
Building Scientific Vocabulary Knowledge
Chapter 4
Comprehending Scientific Text
Chapter 5
Taking a Good Look at Images in Science

Appendix A Suggested Twitter Chats
Appendix B
Science Trade Book Evaluation Guide
Appendix C
Digital Science Text Evaluation Guide
Appendix D
Key Science Terms Chart
Appendix E
Group Knowledge Rating Sheet
Appendix F
Keyword Template
Appendix G
Informational Text Features Chart
Appendix H
Looking Through the Lens




"We need both literacy and science skills to provide students with the knowledge and ability to cope with and understand our world today and in the future. Jennifer meets that challenge with many suggestions about how we can integrate these important skills in the classroom. This is an important book for today’s best teaching practices."
—Seymour Simon, award-winning author of more than 300 books for children

"Science is the tool we use to explore our universe and to innovate through technology, and literacy is the basis of science. Not surprisingly, scientists read and write in highly specialized ways. In Reading Science, Jennifer Altieri shows teachers how they can invite children to read like scientists. A wonderful introduction to science literacy, with lots of practical suggestions to help teachers with text selection, vocabulary instruction, and the teaching of comprehension of words and images."
—Timothy Shanahan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago

"Reading Science is exactly the book that teachers want and need to help their students develop disciplinary literacy skills in science. Packed with practical strategies, examples, and tools, this book offers a clear, do-able approach to integrating literacy and science instruction. I can’t wait to share this book with preservice and practicing teachers because I’m sure it will become a favorite resource."
—Laurie Elish-Piper, Acting Dean, College of Education, Northern Illinois University 

"Wow! Jennifer Altieri has done it again—a practical, highly readable, research-based guide to integrating the teaching of literacy and science. In this age of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), this book is a must for the desk or bedside table of every teacher."
—Jack Cassidy, Past President, International Literacy Association (formerly International Reading Association)

"Reading Science provides pre- and inservice teachers with a treasure chest of valuable knowledge and practical guidance for using literacy-related instructional strategies. From building science vocabulary to comprehending scientific print and digital text, Jennifer Altieri builds important connections between science and literacy. This book is a must for anyone teaching science and a great addition for graduate level content literacy courses."
—Karen Megay Nespoli, Ed.D., Director, Graduate Program in Literacy and Cognition, St. Joseph's College