Reading Like a Scientist By: Kerry Keenan

A Place For Content Literacy
By Katherine E. Misulis
Misulis, Katherine E. A Place for
Content Literacy. The Science Teacher.
78.1 (2011) : 47-50 . Print
At the secondary level, science content is
complex, and challenging
 Highly specialized terminology
Embed content literacy instruction within
science instruction
 Integrate literacy skills rather than add them
The National Institute for Literacy (2007)
assessment data confirms that for many high
school students, subject-related literacy tasks are
The National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development (2000) reported that students need
continued development and reinforcement of
vocabulary and comprehension skills
Teacher should actively review content and select
their own vocabulary words
Do not limit vocabulary instruction to
 Identify word parts (root, prefix, suffix), word origins,
context clues, build dictionary skills
Provide opportunity to use the words throughout
the lesson
 Understanding is achieved through regular opportunities
to reinforce meaning
 Connections and discussions
Graphic organizers
 Visual depiction of words and their relationships
Categorizing activities
 Group words into categories with rationale for choices
Literal-level vocabulary activities
 Flashcards, matching, synonyms, Jeopardy
Application vocabulary activities
 Higher comprehension level, use of terms throughout
lesson, lab work, writing, demonstration
In addition to vocabulary activities,
comprehension activities should
be included within science
instruction to facilitate learning
of science content, processes,
and procedures.
Think at higher comprehension
levels and engage in reasoning
Anticipation & Reaction Guides
 Agree/disagree statements at beginning and end of lesson
 Did their opinion change?
Bloom’s Taxonomy
Make a game of using new vocabulary words
in a lesson
Multisensory learning of vocabulary words for
better comprehension
 Charades & Pictionary
Keep any ongoing list of all words learned
throughout the year posted