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This workshop presents the idea of using literature to teach science. The focus of these lessons should be first on the science content, to provide real world examples and artifacts for the students to attach the new vocabulary and definitions to as they expand their skills in reading.

About This Course

Many elementary classrooms use literature to teach science, social studies, and other related concepts. This workshop presents the idea that when teaching science, the focus of these lessons should be first on the science content, to provide real world examples and artifacts for the students to attach the new vocabulary and definitions to as they expand their skills in reading. Using nonfiction passages and other science-based children’s literature to teach science will help students remember and use both the science and non-science vocabulary of the reading, because they will have real world connections to attach to the definitions and terms.

The next generation of science learning is based on students engaging in the practices of science as they work to make sense of the phenomena that they are investigating. The practices of science and engineering require students to describe, write about, and discuss the content they are learning about. They must learn to represent their ideas using a variety of verbal and visual models and explanations, and they also have to communicate and defend their ideas and conclusions.

New standards emphasize that the goal of learning is not focused on becoming masters of isolated ideas and facts, but rather it is about helping students develop a coherent picture of their world. The inclusion of science and non-fiction reading in classrooms is a powerful tool for building both content knowledge and reading proficiency.


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Looking to test your mettle? Participate in all of the course's activities (we use the honor code around here) and if your work meets the 85% requirements, you'll receive a personalized certificate to showcase your achievement. You can also apply for course credit (if desired).

Course Staff

Dr. Richard Vineyard

Richard N. Vineyard Ph.D., is Lead Program Manager for Science at PCG Education. His extensive experience in science education and assessment informs his work with the K-12 community, specifically in helping schools understand the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Dr. Vineyard works with state, district, and school administrators to design and develop new instructional programs based on the NGSS. He also supports projects focused on the professional development of teachers in science and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education initiatives. Prior to joining PCG in 2015, Dr. Vineyard was Assessment Director for the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) where he worked to supervise the development and implementation of all state level assessments in Nevada. His career with the NDE spanned more than 17 years, during which time he worked first as the state Science Specialist on statewide education initiatives including the development of science content standards and Nevada’s first assessments in science. Richard has served on numerous state and national committees on science education and assessment, and is past President of the Council of State Science Supervisors.

Lori Larsen

Lori Larsen has experience teaching in both the public and private environment and has worked at the District level in administration, as well as a education consultant traveling to schools throughout the United States and Canada. She has made presentations at local, state, and national conferences highlighting the use of technology as an instructional tool in the classroom and focuses on integrating technology and curriculum to engage students. Her experience as a classroom teacher and as a professional development specialist working with teachers gives her opportunity to work with teachers and students to effectively enhance classroom instruction and student learning.
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Course Code: POW131
Course Release: Jun 10, 2016
Estimated Effort: 1.5 Hours

Suggested Prerequisites:

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