Writing skills are high on the list of real-world requirements for all students—including science students. Every scientific discipline needs professionals who can ably communicate in writing. Scientists must be able to describe their proposed studies for funding considerations, track their observations and results in their own notes, describe their experimental protocols for their peers to replicate, and synthesize their work to the wider world community. Yet setting aside time to develop these important skills in an already jam-packed science curriculum is often difficult. And even when teachers can carve out such moments, what do science writing lessons look like?
This valuable compendium, which collects articles originally published in the award-winning journals Science and Children and Science Scope, highlights the importance of science writing and attempts to help elementary and middle school teachers of science tackle the topic with confidence and ease. Outlining both the process and the methods for teaching science writing, articles cover lab reports, science journals, field guides, interactive science notebooks, blogs, and even creative nonfiction and environmental poetry. Practical—and time-efficient—assessment ideas are also covered.
Volume editor Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, herself well-versed in the art of combining writing and science instruction, sums up the case for teaching science writing best: “There are many reasons to have our students write, but the one that is most powerful for me is simple: Writing helps students learn.”