New Science Literacy: Using Language Skills to Help Students Learn Science / Edition 1

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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."

A companion website is available at:

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Editorial Reviews

Thier (teacher education, UC Berkeley) and journalist Bennett Daviss provide clear guidance on linking science and language instruction to simultaneously strengthen students' mastery of both disciplines. Designed for science educators in grades four-through-ten, the manual contains specific strategies, techniques, sample classroom-based activities, and lists of student performance expectations to help educators fuse science and language experiences. The text seeks to enhance all aspects of literacy<-->reading, writing, speaking, listening, and media analysis<-->and places language literacy in the context of inquiry-based, activity-oriented science. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325004594
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 3/11/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,489,277
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Bennett Daviss is an award-winning journalist, co-author of two previous books on educational innovation, and writer of more than 400 articles on education, science, technology, and business.

Marlene Thier, a 25-year veteran of the classroom, has been a science materials developer, teacher educator, and internationally recognized leader in the movement to link science and literacy education. She has made presentations on the subject at conferences from California to South Africa, Brazil and Hong Kong and has worked closely with many schools to implement programs based on her concepts. She has been a developer and Teacher Education Coordinator for the Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) and the Chemicals, Health, and the Environment, and Me (CHEM) program, at the Lawrence Hall of Science on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. She also has been involved in developing literacy connections in more than a dozen other inquiry-based science courses and modules. Thier coordinated the "Elementary Science Teacher Leadership" (ESTL) program. As part of this program, she authored a publication entitled: "Linking Science and Literacy" and co-authored, with other educators, the other nine teacher enhancement guidebooks. She has also been an adjunct professor of education at California State University, Hayward, where she specialized in preparing teachers of reading and science, chairing several conferences and institutes for teachers' professional enhancement in science. She developed and coordinated the Issue-Oriented Elementary Science Leadership program for elementary teachers, which was funded by the National Science Foundation. She continues to work in Hong Kong where she works with teachers to help them use the materials she developed as part of Sustain US, the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Curriculum Project for the Hong Kong Middle Schools, which was developed through STYL (Science Technology Youth and Literacy), of which she is a principal investigator. She has published more than 14 journal articles in addition to the Delta Special Education Science Series and developed the Student Journals as part of the Science Curriculum Improvement Study program. In addition she has been a contributing author on the following projects: Media Literacy: Transforming Curriculum and Teaching, The 104th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (2005), and English Through Science: A Guide for Teaching Science (K-8) to English Language Learners, NSTA (2005). Read Marlene's latest article in Science Scope: Science and Literacy: Tools for Life

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Table of Contents

The New Science Literacy: What It Is and Why We Need It

Merging Science and Language

Activities That Merge Language and Science

How to Implement the New Science Literacy in the Classroom

Tools for the New Science Literacy: Performance Expectations, Student Metacognition Strategies, and Strategies for Explicit Teaching

Reading: Paths to Better Comprehension

Writing: Paths to Clear Expression

Speaking and Listening: Paths to Clear Understanding

Media Literacy: Paths to Awareness

What the New Science Literacy Means in the Classroom and Beyond

If You Teach from a Textbook

Fusing Science and Literacy: Practical Steps to Implementation

Making Parents a Vital Part of the New Science Literacy

Building Bridges to Literacy in Your Science Program


Performance Expectations, Student Metacognitive Strategies, and Strategies for Explicit Teaching

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