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Topic: Making Predictions
I read the article “The Early Years: Reading Stories, Making Predictions” by Peggy Ashbrook. This article discusses the importance of students knowing how to form predictions as early as Pre-K. Picture books have colorful and bright illustrations that give the story detail. Students are to use those illustrations to think about what they think may come next in the story. Throughout the reading of a story, teachers should stop and ask students what may come next. Teachers have to remember to give students time to think of an answer. Often, students are not given enough time to think about their answer to a question. When students have more time to develop their answer, their responses will be more detailed. Ashbrook (2011) adds that teachers need to remind students to listen to everyone’s predictions. Listening to others’ opinions is having respect, no matter if you agree or disagree with the prediction. Younger students in grades Pre-K to 2 need to begin making predictions about story books and have respect for their classmates.
This article also have a sample lesson plan for teachers to have students make predictions. Teachers need to select a book that is related to the science unit that students are learning or going to learn. The teacher first will model a prediction by saying what he/she thinks the story is going to be about by looking at the front book cover. Now students are going to hear the book read aloud and the teacher will stop every few pages and ask what may happen next. Ashbrook (2011) mentions that teachers can have students draw their predictions on paper. Young students can draw an object that they think will be on the next page of the book. At the end of the book, teachers can ask students to explain whether their predictions came true or not. Pre- K through 2nd grade students learning how to make predictions will help them in the future grades.
Ashbrook, Peggy. (2011). The early years: Reading stories, making predictions. Science and Children, November, 22-23.
Topic: Integrating Science
I read the article “Perspectives: Children’s Literature and the Science Classroom” by Sandra K. Abell. The article discusses how teachers should take reading outside the textbook. Science textbooks often do not engage students in the lesson.They are heavy and filled with tons of information on the black and white pages. Students are easily bored with textbooks. Picture books engage students with the colorful illustrations. Abell (2008) mentions that students develop process skills when reading picture books. Students have to look at the illustrates to know about the setting and to infer about the next event to happen in the story.
However, there are some problems with letting students read science picture books. One problem is that many science picture books depict only domesticated animals such as cats and dogs. Wild animals are rarely in picture books, but if they are, the animals are out of their normal habitat. Students need to learn about both domestic and wild animals. Another problem is that some picture books describe science misconceptions. Students will remember the story they read regardless if the information is right or wrong. Teachers are to correct the misconceptions picture books may portray to students.
Students should read books that are about science concepts backed up by research rather than common misconceptions. The key is for teachers to find good picture books that students can learn from. Abell (2008) adds that the journal Science and Children annually publishes a list of books that were picked by the NSTA and the Children’s Book Council as the best science picture books. Teachers should use those books on the list as an introduction to a new science unit. Picture books allow students to improve their processing skills and have fun in learning science.
Abell, Sandra K. (2008). Perspectives: Children’s literature and the science classroom. Science and Children, November, 54-55.
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