Writing Across the Curriculum: ScienceFix
Northern Nevada's Yvette Deighton shares W.A.C. lessons for science class
Welcome to the ScienceFix Project! This on-line resource is used in the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) workshops for teachers, and it is designed to inspire writing about science in the classroom. Teachers who take our workshops are asked to propose lessons that we could house on this webpage. Although many of the lessons are specific to a particular science content, all can certainly be applied to other scientific topics.
Our W.A.C. workshops' driving essential question: How can we deepen student thinking in all content areas through meaningful and authentic writing assignments?
Taking our W.A.C. workshop? Here is the template to use, if you are creating a ScienceFix lesson as your final project for class.
Meet our NNWP Consultant who inspired this page. Hello, my name is Yvette Deighton, and welcome to ScienceFix. I have been a science teacher for most of my career, and more recently a trainer for our region and a graduate from the NNWP's Invitational Institute. This page has some great lessons created by teachers who also believe we can teach content, literacy skills, and allow creativity to flourish in our classrooms.
I believe we are all literacy teachers. We recognize how important it is for all students to be able to read and write fluently; we all earned our degrees through reading and writing. However, like many good intentions, writing often makes its way to the bottom of our list of things to do with the many challenges we tackle trying to teach our content standards. Interestingly, I believe integrating writing within lessons can increase our effectiveness and efficiency. That being said, teaching writing wasn’t something that came easily for me. In fact, I mostly remember assigning writing assignments, and assessing them for the content, only. Time and again I was frustrated with their writing and became more reticent to ask students to write. I realized my own lack of confidence about the writing traits was the issue. Now, in addition to being a science teacher, I am a writing teacher in training.
I believe writing is a tool that will help students deepen their understanding and command of the science content. When we write, we discover what we know and what we still need to learn; we clarify our thinking as we debate the small voice in our head. Writing helps us think. Like other tools, the more we use it, the better the results.
I believe that writing in science needs to be broader than the traditional lab report, research paper, or essay question. While those are essential formats for a science student to master, scientists also write letters, bulletins, flyers, and other less formal pieces. I believe in allowing students to express themselves through their writing, so I like to offer novel writing prompts or assignments like song lyrics, a poem, or a recipe. I hope you will find many lesson ideas to adapt for your students and offer some of your own for our community.
|Yvette's Three Demonstration Lessons She Uses When Presenting ScienceFix
Patterns for Making Meaning
Mentor Text: The Way Life Works by Mahlon Hoagland and Bert Dodson
Lesson objectives: Students will make connections between what they know, what they are learning, and the Sixteen Patterns of Life presented in the text. The format they learn in this lesson can then be used throughout the year by the students. Click here to access this lesson.
Your Glorious Gene Pool
Mentor Text: Shallow End of the Gene Pool, sung by The Austin Lounge Lizards and I am the Dog, I am the Cat by Donald Hall
Lesson objectives: Students will investigate their inheritance of genetic traits and describe through a double-voice poem the science behind the inheritance patterns. Click here to access this lesson.
Mentor text: this i believe podcasts & Science Friday podcasts, both free to download from NPR.
Lesson objectives: Students will create a "This I Believe" podcast about the topic they are studying to publish to the classroom I-Pod or webpage. Click here to access the entire lesson on-line.