Use in Your Literacy Program

Science is an authentic context for literacy learning.

Hands-on science motivates students to read and write, and to increase their use of academic language. In all Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units there is equal emphasis on literacy learning goals and science learning goals. The units meet many state and national English Language Arts standards, particularly those related to reading and writing informational text.

In each unit, students read award-winning science books that connect to, support, and extend what they learn through hands-on investigations. The units include explicit instruction and practice in reading informational text, as well as in selected reading comprehension strategies, such as posing questions or summarizing. At least one of these strategies in each unit is also taught as a science inquiry skill. Students write to reflect on their learning and to share their discoveries. Each unit includes in-depth instruction in specific kinds of scientific writing, such as scientific explanations and comparisons, as well as opportunities for informal writing. Students learn to speak and listen as scientists do, and they learn and use academic vocabulary related to the science topic.

Case Study: Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading as part of a literacy program

Developing English Language Learners’ Background Knowledge and Vocabulary

This California charter school has a population of 80% English language learners. Teachers were not seeing students transfer vocabulary from their basal reading program to other subject areas. They looked to Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading to get a jumpstart on meeting their English language learners' needs. Now they are using science to drive English Language Arts, splitting their literacy time between their basal literacy program and Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading. The results are astounding! Their science scores on the state test increased dramatically, and their English Language Arts scores increased as well. “The data speaks for itself! There’s renewed enthusiasm that you can feel walking through the school…Teachers are commenting on how much background knowledge students are coming to them with, and they are able to take them farther than they ever have before.” –Science Coordinator