Date of Award

Fall 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Younkyeong Nam

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to create lessons and projects for high school Earth Science classes encompassing science literacy, specifically focused on writing. With the recent release of the Next Generation Science Standards, science literacy has gained importance in science education. This being said, teachers need the pedagogical skills to implement and teach science literacy.

For this project, a literature review of science literacy was conducted which lead to a focus on writing in science. Past research of writing in science classrooms revealed that more than half of high school science teachers claim that they do not feel prepared to teach writing in science nor have the time to do so. The literature review of this thesis highlights the theoretical framework of learning through writing, the four writing strategies and difficulties faced by the teacher and students. The last section of the literature review brings ideas together in a discussion concerning the implementation of writing in a science classroom.

The final section of this thesis contains a series of lesson plans and projects developed for a high school Earth Science classroom. To develop the lesson plans four particular writing strategies were utilized. These include RAFT, SWH (science writing heuristic), Cornell notetaking and the Interactive Notebook.

The lessons developed incorporate different approaches for writing assignments, including several opportunities for student choice. Writing in science is possible at the high school level. The students’ ability to learn science through writing will be significantly enhanced when they are encouraged and guided by a knowledgeable and dedicated teacher.

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