Writing in Science
There are several hallmarks of more sophisticated and confident science writing. Accomplished science writers are able to tailor their writing for specific audiences, formats, and lengths. They can also move the content that they want to communicate across different modes and platforms of communication, including journalistic articles, formal research reports, Facebook postings, podcasts, videos, twitter, wikis, blogs, and oral presentations.
The key to developing greater proficiency is to write more, write in diverse forms, and rewrite and reversion material. Revising can be painful for students who may feel it is repetitive; however, it is probably the single most important path to better writing, especially if peer and teachers feedback is part of the process. Changing the audience or the form of the writing can help some students feel like the work is not repetitive.
Video and Reflection: Watch Writing for New Media to see an 11th grade English class focusing on revising and polishing written scripts for podcasts. You may want to take notes on the questions below.
- Before you watch: Do you make use of a workshop approach in your teaching? If so, what are the key elements that make a workshop approach work?
- Watch the video: As you watch, note the specific instructions and feedback Ms. Cunningham gives students on their scripts. What aspects of the activity afford Ms. Cunningham the opportunity to differentiate instruction?
Jane Cunningham engages her students with a journalism podcast project in which they create their own podcasts about a subject of their choice.
Teacher: Jane Cunningham
School: Reading Memorial High School, Reading, MA
Lesson Topic: The power of narrative podcast project
Lesson Month: June
Number of Students: 18
- Reflect: Think about how you might use interviews to help your students gain science literacy. In addition to working scientists, who might your students interview, and what would the benefit be?