I'm always striving to help my young scientists become proficient writers. It can be tough for some students to focus on the data gathered during an experiment, especially when they are asked to summarize in paragraph form. Here are a few strategies I use to encourage good science writing skills:
1. Show students examples of good science writing. (I use my own writing as well as saved exemplar work from previous students.)
2. Write WITH students as a whole group. This type of modeling may seem time consuming, but it will pay off!
3. Scaffold writing by completing some of the work for students and then having them complete the rest. For example, at the end of an experiment I will write the title, intro, and method sections and students will need to write in the data and discussion sections.
I find that young scientists best digest scientific writing in small bites. It can be helpful to allow students plenty of time to consume examples of good writing, as well as provide a gradual release of responsibility throughout the learning process. Here are some freebie materials that you might find useful in your classroom. Click on any image to download the pdf from google docs.
Here are some free science writing posters for your classroom!
Use these mini-checklists to help students stay organized when writing in science class.
Here is a graphic organizer that can help students draft/brainstorm before writing scientific responses.
How might you use these printable materials in your classroom? Do you have any unique strategies for helping students with their science writing?
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