The integration of literature and science : animal life cycles

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Westra, Susan A
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2000
This project concerns the integration ofliterature with the teaching of science. More specifically, it involves the foundational understanding, design, and delivery of an instructional unit in a grade three classroom in which literature was integrated to support the learning of scientific concepts concerning animal life cycles. In addition, it concerns the teacher's learning regarding the value of integration when she taught the Animal Life Cycle Unit from Topic E of the Alberta Program of Studies for Science. The project, as reported here, involves a limited study of the relevant research literature, a discussion of the advantages of integrating literature and science, a unit plan for the Animal Life Cycles Unit, and the teacher's reflections and recommendations. The research literature presents four themes: (a) increase in student achievement, concentrating on the implementation of the program and the ease in which the students understood the information; (b) improvement of students' attitudes and provision of background information, success provided the stimulus to further interest the students' studies; (c) selection and integration of high-quality literature, choosing a piece of literature that provides a link to the science curriculum; and (d) challenges integrating literature and science, highlighting the literature and need for further research in this area. Discussion of each includes examples from the teacher's classroom. The unit plan includes all lesson plans and lists of resources. All lessons draw upon and are adapted from literature sources. The blueprint of this unit includes objectives, resources, lesson plans, and assessment tools. In each lesson the scientific concepts are explored through literature and experimentation. Finally, the teacher's reflections include references to her learning as the instruction proceeded and her suggestions for how her teaching colleagues might facilitate integrated instruction. The majority of her suggestions concentrate on the organization of an integrated classroom. In brief, she concludes that the integration of literature and science enhances classroom learning, helping young students to make connections among concepts and to have the language needed to express their understanding.
viii, 75 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm. --
Science -- Study and teaching (Primary) -- Alberta , Literature -- Study and teaching , Literature and science , Interdisciplinary approach in education