Monday, May 25, 2015

Creative Writing + Science = Meaningful Learning!

Happy Monday! I'm Krista from The Knitted Apple and I'm thrilled to be back with another blog post on Who's Who!

Today I want to share an idea for integrating two subjects students love- Science and Creative Writing! At first, it may seem the two are not the best match, but I've found they are a perfect fit when used to assess understanding of a science concept students have studied.

What makes these subjects a perfect match when used as an assessment? One simple reason- science and writing projects are much more engaging for students than a traditional test! They get EXCITED each time a new project is introduced.  Students collaborate with others, apply knowledge learned, and show creativity!

To plan an integrated science and writing project, think about the concept you are assessing. For example, when studying forms of energy  I wanted to students to be able to identify the forms of energy and how each is used.  I also wanted them to apply their knowledge of specific forms of energy to create something original.  In this case, it was a robot!  I developed a rubric, making sure this information was included.  I then added expectations for the writing piece, including points for correct sentence structure, capitalization, and punctuation.

When you are ready to introduce the project to your class, I recommend the following tips:
  • Review the concept being assessed by revisiting anchor charts or discussing the main points.
  • Show excitement when introducing the project.  Students will build on your enthusiasm!
  • Explain the expectations for the project.  I recommend using a rubric and displaying it while students are working. 
  • Make sure you have allotted time in your schedule. Most of my projects take at least two class periods to complete, as they include both a planning page (rough draft) and project page (final draft).
  • Group students together in pairs or small groups to edit and revise after completing the rough draft.
  • After revising, allow an extended time for students to complete the final project page.  Provide colored pencils, markers, and crayons to make the designs come to life!
The most important tip of all- make sure students have an opportunity to share their designs and writing.  Other students will learn by hearing how the presenter applied the concept studied.   You will be amazed at the creativity of the students.  Just provide the expectations and framework for the project, and let them do the rest!

One of my favorite science and writing projects is available free from my TpT store! If your students have studied Forms of Energy this year my Robot Project would be a great review. To grab a copy, just click the image below! 


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