An I-Pod Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix & ScienceFix

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summarizing current science news that has been reported on Science Times

Student Writer Instructions:

Learning about science at school doesn't just mean you just learn about science and scientists from the past; it also means you learn about current scientists and and scientific studies.

The New York Times publishes podcasts called "Science Times," which are fifteen-minute segments that talk about current science events.

Throughout the year, you should summarize several of these podcasts for your current event science portfolios. The instructions below will help you create your first podcasting summary.

At the end of the year, after you have written many summaries about current science news, why not ask your teacher if you can create your own podcast on a current event in science that is of interest to you?

Before Listening to the first Podcast Instructions:

Answer the following Pre-Writing questions after exploring and discussing what factual writing looks like with your teacher/classmates:

1. How is factual writing different from editorials?

2. To be completely factual, writing should be written without statements like __________________________________ or ____________________________________.

3. Finish this sentence: Scientific data needs to be free from superfluous information and opinions because…

Listening to the Podcast Instructions:
(Use the lesson's graphic organizer)

Listen to the Science Times podcast while filling out the graphic organizer. There are three segments within the podcast to hear. Try to pick only factual information/data to write down on your graphic organizer. Also, include thoughts that are interesting to you as well as information that you can share with others about the podcast.

Summarizing a Podcast Instructions:

A) Discuss the podcast with other students at your table. Others may be able to help you with some facts from the episode and/or give a different perspective on what was interesting about the podcast. Make sure that you confirm with other students whether or not your information is completely factual, which means they do not include any superfluous information (opinions, unnecessary stuff, etc.).

B) Once you have completed 1) page one of the graphic organizer and 2) your small group discussion: Choose only one of the podcast topics to write about. Use the template (page 2 of the graphic organizer) to formulate a factual paragraph about the Science Times podcast. Place the facts you learned from the podcast into complete sentences. Also, write the facts you can share with others and the most interesting points from the podcast into complete sentences. Create both an introductory thought and a concluding thought to wrap your “factual” paragraph in-between.

C) Write your completed paragraph (in a logical order for your reader) at the bottom of page 2. Take the information from the graphic organizer above, and rewrite your factual summary of the Science Times podcast in the space below. Include both your intro and concluding sentences. Once you are finished, pick an appropriate title for your podcast summary paragraph.

D) Share your writing with at least two of your classmates for editing. Once you have made any necessary revisions, place this podcast summary into your Current Events Portfolio.


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