How Does Mechanical Weathering Change Rocks? Using Reading-to-Learn Strategies to Teach Science Content by: Peter Wardrip and Jennifer Toby

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Many teachers fall into the pattern of “assumptive teaching” (Herber 1970), assuming that other instructors will teach students the important strategies they need for learning. In this case, tools and strategies may not be taught outside of reading or language arts because a science teacher can say, “It’s not my job.” However, a sixth-grade team decided to make it their jobs. With the help of university researchers, they employed three reading-to-learn strategies in their content areas as a routine instructional strategy to help students become expert readers. In this article, they summarize their work using one particular science lesson as an example. This snapshot demonstrates how the reading-to-learn strategies are used in the service of learning science content.

  • Middle
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 280 Libraries

Reviews (4)
  • on Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:59 PM

I really enjoyed this resource, it is a must have for weathering. The ease at which it is explained makes it very appealing and I definitely plan to incorporate it next year!

Brandon  (Modesto, CA)
Brandon (Modesto, CA)

  • on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:14 PM

Science teacher are ‘experts’ in their subject but often need help with other areas such as reading strategies. This article provides an explanation as well as examples of how to apply what reading teachers would call ‘reading-to-learn’ strategies which these authors feel are the strategies used by expert readers.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue May 01, 2012 3:09 PM

This article outlines how to implement reading strategies into science lessons to increase student achievement. Using three "reading-to-learn" strategies annotation, T-charts, and summarizing the authors describe how to use the strategies to help students maximize their learning. The article includes an example lesson and examples of student work. I found this article to be very informative and an excellent resource for teaching reading in science.

Maureen Stover  (Fayetteville, NC)
Maureen Stover (Fayetteville, NC)

  • on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:05 PM

This article is an excellent example of how teachers can integrate literacy strategies in their science classes to increase their students’ learning through their texts. The authors highlight using annotation and T-charting to help their students activate reading process skills like defining, analyzing, summarizing and reflecting. Student samples of annotating and using T-charts were provided and showed how students used these strategies to better understand information about the mechanical weathering of rocks. The sample lesson took place in a sixth-grade science class in a school with students displaying diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. The authors point out that teachers need to select the appropriate strategy for each individual piece of informational text, and they need to explicitly teach each literacy strategy to their students. Finally, practice makes perfect and helps to cement each strategy as a useful tool that students can rely on to help them learn science content

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.