Science Strategies

Science

Here you will find some science strategies to help with ESOL students.

Be careful when looking at each strategy as they could vary on grade level. All can be adapted to fit any grade level.



The ESOL Performance Standard that is covered in these strategies is:

ELD.K12.ELL.SC.1-English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Science.



  1. Reporting Back: Verbal Practice in Curriculum Connections (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Experimenting
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Verbally describe the steps taken to complete an assignment.
      • Listen and add to a peer’s report of an activity.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.2-Using the five senses as tools, make careful observations, describe objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, motion, and compare their observations with others.
    • For this strategy, students will have to follow a set of written and verbal instruction to complete an experiment with their partner. A simple experiment to do is to see how ice melts in an empty cup versus in a cup of water. Students will have to do the experiment and then report back to the teacher what they noticed. They can even report with other groups to see what they observed. In science it is very important that there is a hands-on approach and that there is a good amount of communication in the classroom. The teacher will read the directions out loud first and go over the new vocabulary that students need to pay attention to. Then the students will be asked the to complete the experiment following each step and making the proper observations. Then the teacher should bring the class back together to discuss what each group noticed and if they would do anything differently. The teacher should encourage the students to use the vocabulary words when reporting back to the class or to other partner groups.
    • When dealing with experiments it is important that the teacher goes over the safety procedures to the students and makes sure that they follow the directions. You want the students to get the most out of the experiment so it is important they know what is expected of them.
    • This strategy provides a direct connection between instruction and language. For ELLs it is important for them to see this connection especially in a subject that is more difficult to understand like science. This strategy also allows a student to explore a concept first before having to report back.ice_in_water_ice_in_cup
  2. Collaborative Reading: What to Do When They Can’t Read the Textbook (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Research Group Projects
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Verbally explain information gained from book illustrations.
      • Use the table of contents to locate information in nonfiction books at appropriate reading levels.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.1-Raise questions about the natural world, investigate them in teams through free exploration, and generate appropriate explanations based on those explorations.
    • For this strategy, students will be working in groups to do a research project. As a class, students will come up with questions about the natural world and then students will be grouped based on those questions to investigate one of them. Students will have access to a wide variety of materials to perform their research so every student is able to gather information, no matter what their reading level. The teacher should first model how to do proper research and instruct the class on how to take notes for research. The students will then work in their groups to collaborative read about their question and work together to gather information. The teacher is responsible for finding the materials for each student so they are reading on their reading level. Once each student has read their information, they share with their group so the group can come up with an answer to present to the class. The purpose and focus of this strategy is that there is collaborative reading so each and every student is able to gain information from a source as the textbook might be too difficult to read.
    • The teacher needs to pay special attention to each student’s reading level as well as how well they participate in their group. The teacher should provide each group with a graphic organizer or questions to answer to help guide their research. Once each group is complete, they will present their information to the class and each student in the group will get a chance to speak on what they learned.
    • For ELLs, this strategy allows them to be able to participate in the research process by being able to read on their level. This allows them to find information to share with the group when sometimes with research, it is far too advanced for them. By working in groups too, they are able to learn from others and build off of them.
    • Article on Research Skiilsresearch
  3. GIST: Exploring Tough Text (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Understanding Science Text
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Collaboratively write a summary of a paragraph.
      • Support their opinions in a group setting.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.E.5.1-Observe and discuss that there are more stars in the sky than anyone can easily count and that they are not scattered evenly in the sky.
    • For this strategy, students will be reading about the stars in a group. Because science content can be difficult to read it is important that there is a strong English reader and writer in each group. The students will then read one paragraph at a time silently. Once everyone has read first paragraph, the group will discuss what the “gist” is and how they were able to figure that out. They will fill out the graphic organizer provided. They will continue this process throughout the whole reading passage making sure to stop and talk after each paragraph read. By being in a group, it gives students a chance to clarify meaning and vocabulary. The group task of writing a summary sentence for each paragraph that is read provides an authentic assignment that requires the students to discuss the meaning of the paragraph and agree on a sentence that conveys the important information. Each group will then share with the class what they gathered as the “gist.” This will allow the class additional opportunities to hear the information discussed and new vocabulary clarified.
    • The teacher needs to make sure that the students are stopping after each paragraph and not trying to get ahead. It is also important that the students are placed in heterogeneous groups. It is also important that the group stays together as a group which means they need to make sure everyone is on board and has written down the summary statement for the paragraph before moving onto the next paragraph.
    • For ELLs, this strategy really allows them to get a better grasp at how to identify important details as they are getting a lot of practice and are able to listen to their peers. It also takes off some of the pressure of having to figure it all out on their own as they are working in groups. The group when working will discuss and clarify meaning as they decide on the best summary sentence which will be effective to English language learners.
    • Website on GIST:
  4.  Visual Scaffolding: Providing Language Support through Visual Images (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Visualizing
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Retell interesting events.
      • Ask quetions to satisfy personal needs.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.2-Using the five senses as tools, make careful observations, describe objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion, and compare their observations with others.
    • This strategy is very helpful in science as part of science is using your senses to make observations and form questions about the natural world. When a student uses their five senses they are able to have a better visual of what is occurring.
    • The teacher needs to guide the students with their observations by asking the write questions and having them create visuals of what they are observing. When a student creates a visual they have something to relate the content to. They have a more concrete idea of the material they are learning. The teacher can scaffold the students to help them form visuals that will benefit them. Projects are great visuals for students!
    • ELLs will benefit from this strategy as visuals are always helpful. Also if an ELL is coming up with the visual it is requiring them to think deeper about the material which will help with their understanding.
    • Teaching with Visual Aidsscience work
  5. Inquiry Approach: Involving the Students
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Hands-On Science
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Participate in activities that pique curiosity.
      • Follow instructions to gain further information.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.1-Raise questions about the natural world, investigate them in teams through free exploration, and generate appropriate explanations based on those explorations.
    • This strategy focuses on getting the students curious about science and then allowing a hands-on experience for them to explore their curiosity. When a student is curious they are more motivated to learn.
    • The teacher needs to provide the appropriate materials for the students to explore their curiosity and to learn from it. Group work is also great where the students have a problem and have to find a solution to it.
    • ELLs benefit from this strategy as they become more motivated to learn. When working in groups they feel more comfortable and are able to build off what others are saying.
    • http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teaching-science-inquiry-based
  6. Graphic Organizers: Visually Representing Ideas, Text, and Connections (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Graphic Organizers
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Represent text structures with graphic organizers.
      • Interpret simple graphic organizers.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.3-Keep records as appropriate – such as pictorial and written records – of investigations conducted.
    • Graphic organizers are visuals or pictures created to represent ideas, text, or connections between texts. It is very important that the teacher model how to use each and every graphic organizer they present before the class so the students know what is expected of them and how to use the organizer properly. Graphic organizers can be used before instruction, during instruction, and after instruction and are great tools to use to help aid in comprehension.
    • Graphic organizers can be used for just about anything and everything and I have always found them to be very useful. I would definitely use them in my classroom as much as possible and I also like the idea of having my students come up with their own graphic organizers to see how they want to organize their information. I think it would be fun to have the students share with the class their graphic organizers and it would also help me, as the teacher, to see how each student thinks. I would also use graphic organizers for some informal assessments.
    • For English Language Learners, graphic organizers help them to see the information in an organized, visual format. Graphic organizers can really help students become more analytic in their reading and to reflect more deeply.
  7. Leveled Questions: Adjusting Questioning Strategies to the Language Levels of Students (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Questioning
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Respond to questions appropriate to their level of English language development.
      • Demonstrate understanding by physical and oral responses.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.1-Raise questions about the natural world, investigate them in teams through free exploration, and generate appropriate explanations based on those explorations.
  8. Attribute Charting: Organizing Information to Support Understanding (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Semantic Feature Analysis
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Verbally identify attributes of realia.
      • Verbally identify attributes of common nouns.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.P.8.1-Sort objects by observable properties, such as size, shape, color, temperature (hot or cold), weight (heavy or light), texture, and whether objects sink or float
    • http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/semantic_feature_analysissemantic
  9. Jigsaw: Piece it all Together with Others
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Group Teaching
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Use appropriate language when sharing information.
      • Verbalize information on topic given.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.E.5.4-Identify the beneficial and harmful properties of the Sun.
    • This strategy is where students have a home group. The home group is given a topic and each student in that group must become the expert on that topic. Then the students get with other students from other home groups and teach them on their subject.
  10. Multiple Intelligences Strategies: Teaching and Testing to Student-Preferred Learning Modes (Taken from 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners by A.L Herrel and M. Jordan)
    • Grade: 1st grade
      • Multiple Intelligences
    • TESOL Standards for PreK-3 Students:
      • Use a variety of learning strategies to enhance understanding.
      • Verbalize understanding of various ways to learn.
    • Common Core Standard:
      • SC.1.N.1.2-Using the five senses as tools, make careful observations, describe objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion, and compare their observations with others.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s