The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History, Science and Technical Subjects (“CCSS-ELA”) include reading and writing standards specifically for science teachers in Grades 6-12 (see CCSS-ELA-HST, pp. 62-66). As described on the Common Core State Standards-ELA home page, “Literacy standards for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects using their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.”
According to the CCSS ELA home page, “It is important to note that the 6–12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them.” The science and engineering content standards that describe the full range of core science ideas and inquiry practices that students need to be prepared for college, careers and personal/civic decision-making are defined in two sets of science standards documents: the Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012) and Connecticut’s Core Science Curriculum Framework (Connecticut State Department of Education, 2004).
CCSS-ELA-HST standards apply specifically to developing students’ capacity to critically and analytically read, write and communicate about scientific ideas, theories and issues. Although reading, writing, speaking, and listening are important aspects of the scientific enterprise and of learning science, they do not represent the full range of cognitive inquiry practices that are at the heart of science learning. The CCSS-ELA-HST standards for reading and writing in science are a strong bridge to NGSS Practice 7 (argument with evidence) and Practice 8 (Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information), and should be intentionally woven into science lessons so that literacy competencies enhance understanding of science concepts in the curriculum.
The lesson plans included here have been reviewed by experts using rigorous protocols and have been found to be in alignment with the CCSS. The effectiveness of any individual lesson plan will depend upon its relationship to the unit of instruction and the yearlong curriculum plan. These lesson plans may be used as models or adapted for use in your classroom.
TOOLS FOR USE IN THE FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT PROCESS
The short assessments included here have been reviewed by experts using rigorous protocols and have been found to be in alignment with CCSS. The effectiveness of any assessment will depend upon its relationship to the unit of instruction and the objectives it is designed to assess. These short assessments may be used as models or adapted for use in your school, grade level team, or classroom.