Writing in Science
Building a Foundation
Getting students started on good scientific writing, much like reading, involves helping them see how to break things down into manageable and meaningful pieces. If students can experience success writing short pieces, starting with sentences and paragraphs, they will gain confidence and practice that pave the way for longer writing and more complex text structures.
Video and Reflection: Watch Power Writing for Science to see a 6th grade science lesson in which students write in a fast and focused way, while aiming for high word counts, in order to loosen up and get their writing flowing. You may want to take notes on the questions below.
- Before you watch: Think about how much in-class writing you have your students do. How do you support students who struggle with writing? Do you have different goals or standards for the writing that students do in class versus outside of class?
- Watch the video: As you watch, notice how willing the students are to rewrite.
Amy Miles uses a "power writing" exercise to build writing skills and reinforce background knowledge.
Teacher: Amy Miles
School: Health Sciences High and Middle College Middle School, San Diego, CA
Lesson Topic: Learning about rocks
Lesson Month: March
Number of Students: 35
Other: Health Sciences High and Middle College is a health-focused charter school.
- Reflect: What do you think of the idea of writing fast and going for a high word count? Write a paragraph on how you think it might be beneficial or negative and how it might be different for, say, 6th grade versus 10th grade students.