“Why are we doing writing, this isn’t English class!”
“Do I really have to write in a complete sentence?”
Believe it or not, in science class we integrate almost all of the content areas. The key to this integration is making the learning interesting so you don’t hear the complaints. This year I am teaching a biology class of all English language learner students. I not only have to worry about teaching the students science concepts and vocabulary, but also getting them to read and write proficiently so they can pass the state language exam. It’s a lot of pressure! I decided one way to get students to write more in my class was to give them fun writing prompts.
I came up with 10 prompts per quarter, and would assign them periodically for homework the night BEFORE the concept was taught. Why before? I didn’t want to read regurgitated class notes. I really wanted the students to think critically about the science concept and be able to assess their background knowledge. I gave students a grade for completing the homework assignment, but didn’t grade them on the accuracy of the content knowledge. It is also a great way to uncover misconceptions and address them throughout the lesson. As I started using these prompts I saw my student’s writing skills improve and vocabulary increase. I have since not only created writing prompts for biology, but for many science content areas.
“LOVE this resource! The prompts are perfect for an intro to a unit to get the kids engaged in the new concepts and they are also perfect for the end of a unit as a formative assessment.”
“Worth every penny! I wish I had these at the beginning of my unit! I will use them ALL next year for sure!” -Christie O.
“Love these prompts! Great way to get my students to think “deeper” about our class lessons.” -Courtney J.