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Teaching Science Through Reading

Much of science should be taught as reading.  There are strange new vocabulary words on just about every page in the science book.  There are new connections.  There are inferences needed to be made.  It’s like a strange new world out there to many students.
Vocabulary IS very important.  Only by pronouncing, spelling, and understanding terms like photosynthesis, evaporation, joules, ichthyologist, carnivorous…and on and on—can students begin to understand the concepts and then think about them, question, and apply this new knowledge.
It’s like learning the notes on a musical scale.  How could anyone compose or play great music without knowing how to read music and put the notes together?
I think we might be losing something important in the learning process if we don’t emphasize, even better—teach—vocabulary and other comprehensions skills right in the beginning of a chapter, or unit, or project.  Otherwise, how can students get to the place where they are applying science concepts easily?  Discussing them easily? Learning to love science easily?
What do you think?

Valeria B. Girandola
MSEd, Publisher, Editor in Chief
Spigot Science Magazine


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