Approach

Science Content

Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units immerse students in standards-based science topics so they develop the expertise that comes through in-depth learning. For each main concept, students do it by engaging in hands-on investigations, talk it during structured peer discussions, read it using award-winning student books, and write it with formal and informal writing tasks.

Reading

Students receive explicit instruction in comprehension strategies, such as making inferences, posing and answering questions, visualizing, and summarizing. Students also learn the features and functions of informational text, including reference books, in order to read informational text with greater understanding. Instruction is also carefully designed to build students’ academic vocabulary.

Strategy Guides provide examples of the approach to teaching reading with science texts.

Writing

Each Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading unit incorporates in-depth instruction in scientific writing, including the genres of scientific explanation, procedure, description, and summary. In addition, students have opportunities to write in order to record information, brainstorm, reflect, and prepare for discussions. Instructional supports are included to help students build academic language and vocabulary as they write.

Strategy Guides provide examples of the approach to teaching writing with science texts.

Listening and Speaking

Students participate in small-group discussions that promote active engagement, critical thinking, and responsive listening. Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading builds upon students’ everyday language while providing access to scientific language. Each unit offers several routines that support students in effectively communicating ideas and supporting claims with evidence.

Strategy Guides provide examples of the approach to teaching listening and speaking with science texts.

Vocabulary

Developing students’ academic vocabulary is a key part of all Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading instruction. Each unit provides in-depth instruction on conceptually core words that are central to the unit topic. Students build active control of these words, using them as they read, write, investigate and discuss.

Strategy Guides provide examples of the approach to teaching vocabulary with science texts.

Science Inquiry

Students engage in authentic scientific inquiry as they investigate to answer questions as scientists do. Each unit includes in-depth instruction and practice in selected inquiry skills such as predicting or making inferences. At least one of these skills in each unit is also taught as a reading comprehension strategy. Each unit also includes an emphasis on making explanations with evidence.

Strategy Guides provide examples of the approach to teaching about science inquiry with science texts.

Nature of Science

Students learn about the practices of science, as well as what makes science a unique way of understanding the natural world. Students reflect on what scientists do and why, and read about the work of real scientists.

Strategy Guides provide examples of the approach to teaching about the nature of science with science texts.

Diverse Learners

Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units are designed to reach the wide diversity of students found in today’s classrooms. Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading has been used successfully with English language learners, high achieving and low-achieving students, and in rural, suburban, and urban classrooms around the country. Each unit provides optional supports for English language learners, students who need more support in a particular activity, and for students who need more challenge in a particular activity.

Assessment

The Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading Assessment System offers many options for assessing students’ progress. Each unit includes a suite of pre/post assessments in science and literacy. Each unit also includes a formative assessment system that highlights assessment opportunities throughout the unit. Detailed scoring guides help teachers communicate clear expectations and give constructive feedback.

To read more about these topics, download a Program Overview.