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STEM and the Common Core

STEM and the Common Core Photo Credit: Clipart.com
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being rolled out in classrooms across the nation. Many educators have been training on how to implement the Common Core standards in their own classrooms over the past two years. Many states have embraced the CCSS, while others are more skeptical about them. As of September, 2013, 46 states plus the District of Columbia have chosen to adopt the CCSS.

But, how do the CCSS apply to the STEM classroom? The standards set requirements not only for English language arts (ELA) but also for literacy in other disciplines, including STEM subjects. Literacy standards for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers of STEM using their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields. The 6–12 literacy standards in science and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them.

This collection has been put together to highlight Science NetLinks lessons (many of which were created with as part of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize funded by Subaru) that make use of non-fiction science trade books to help bring scientists and scientific research to life for students.
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Lessons

  • An Egg Is Quiet

    An Egg Is Quiet

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    Students learn about eggs and observe and describe changes in a variety of simple activities involving eggs.
  • Farming 1: Farm Machines

    Farming 1: Farm Machines

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    This lesson is the first of a two-part series on how machines help people grow, package, transport, and store food.
  • Farming 2: Packaging and Transport

    Farming 2: Packaging and Transport

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    This lesson is the second of a two-part series on how machines help people grow, package, transport, and store food.
  • Sky 2: Shadows

    Sky 2: Shadows

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students will explore making shadows and tracking the movement of an object over the course of a day to look for patterns.
  • Where in the Wild?

    Where in the Wild?

    K-2  |  Audio
    This students introduces children to the concept of animal camouflage.
  • The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

    The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

    3-5  |  Video
    This lesson should help students understand both the physical forces behind climate change, and the social responses to it as a means to preserve the health of people, the state of cities, island nations, and organisms.
  • A Seabird in the Forest

    A Seabird in the Forest

    3-5  |  Video
    Students learn about the interdependent relationship between the Marbled Murrelet bird and the environment of old growth forests, such as redwood trees.
  • Sensing Energy

    Sensing Energy

    3-5  
    In this lesson, students will perform simple experiments that will help them to explore unseen energy produced by the sun.
  • A Taste of Exploratopia

    A Taste of Exploratopia

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students are introduced to different types of scientific investigations, conduct their own, and explore how new evidence can modify theories.
  • The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs

    The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs

    6-8  |  Video
    Students develop an understanding of scientific research and environmental conservation by examining the work of scientists involved in studying and trying to save the Panamanian golden frogs.
  • Classify It!

    Classify It!

    6-8  |  Interactive
    Students learn that organisms can be sorted into groups in many ways using various features to decide which organisms belong to which group.
  • Dinosaur Eggs Discovered! Unscrambling the Clues

    Dinosaur Eggs Discovered! Unscrambling the Clues

    6-8  
    This lesson introduces students to how the scientific enterprise, science, and technology were used in discovering and understanding dinosaur eggs found during a famous paleontological expedition in Argentina.
  • The Frog Scientist 1: The Mystery of Disappearing Frogs

    The Frog Scientist 1: The Mystery of Disappearing Frogs

    6-8  |  Audio
    This lesson introduces students to Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a biologist who is using a combination of scientific fieldwork and lab experimentation to understand how a commonly used pesticide is damaging both frogs and their habitats.
  • The Frog Scientist 2: Schoolyard Field Investigation

    The Frog Scientist 2: Schoolyard Field Investigation

    6-8  |  Hands-On
    This lesson allows students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the first lesson to developing a hypothesis, conducting their own scientific inquiry, and reporting their results just as working scientists do.
  • Team Moon

    Team Moon

    6-8  
    In this lesson, students will first read Team Moon and then divide into teams to further investigate one of the challenges of the Apollo 11 mission.
  • Thomas Edison for Kids

    Thomas Edison for Kids

    6-8  |  Audio
    By studying Thomas Edison's life and inventions, students will develop a broader view of technology and how it is like and unlike science.
  • Adolescent Sleep

    Adolescent Sleep

    9-12  
    In this lesson, students discuss, summarize, and express alternative positions regarding a study on adolescent sleep.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    9-12  
    In this lesson, students explore the issue of ethics in medical research and, in particular, the issue of informed consent, in the context of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cells.
  • The Invisible Kingdom

    The Invisible Kingdom

    9-12  |  Video
    This lesson helps students develop an understanding of the characteristics and diversity of microbial life.
  • Mental Health 1: Human Behavior

    Mental Health 1: Human Behavior

    9-12  
    This lesson introduces students to the study of human behavior and to develop their ideas about the importance of understanding mental health.
  • Mental Health 2: Bedlam

    Mental Health 2: Bedlam

    9-12  
    This lesson will orient students to the kinds of treatment and care the mentally ill received prior to the 19th century—using the example of England’s Bedlam asylum.
  • The Mozart Effect

    The Mozart Effect

    9-12  
    Students learn why skepticism is important in science by looking at actual scientific studies regarding the effect of playing Mozart's music to infants.
  • The Odyssey of KP2

    The Odyssey of KP2

    9-12  |  Video
    This lesson is about the scientist, Terrie M. Williams, and her research with the Hawaiian monk seal, KP2.
  • Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations

    Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations

    9-12  |  Audio
    This lesson provides an introduction to conservation biology via the memoirs of a scientist who has traveled throughout the world to study and defend endangered species.
  • Welcome to Your Brain

    Welcome to Your Brain

    9-12  |  Audio
    In this lesson, students explore how the human brain processes sensory and cognitive information, regulates our emotional life, and forms memories.
  • The Wild Trees

    The Wild Trees

    9-12  |  Audio
    This lesson addresses the diversity of scientific research in the context of the story of how researchers learned about the giant redwoods in Northwestern California.
  • Air Masses

    Air Masses

    9-12  
    In this lesson, students develop an understanding of air masses and the role they play in weather and climate.

Tools

Videos

  • Common Core in the STEM Classroom

    K-12  |  Video
    Learn how award-winning trade books and other engaging reading material can be incorporated into the science classroom with AAAS' Bob Hirshon.

AAAS Resources

Science Education and Literacy: Imperatives for the Developed and Developing World
Science 23 April 2010: Vol. 328 no. 5977 pp. 448-450
This article explores current language-based research aimed at promoting scientific literacy and examines issues of language use in schools, particularly where science teaching and learning take place in teachers’ and learners’ second language.

Academic Language and the Challenge of Reading for Learning About Science
Science 23 April 2010: Vol. 328 no. 5977 pp. 450-452
This article suggests students need help in learning academic vocabulary and how to process academic language if they are to become independent learners of science.

Learning to Read, Reading to Learn
Science 23 April 2010: Vol. 328 no. 5977 p. 447
This article introduces the special section in Science on Science, Language, and Literacy.

Opportunities and Challenges in Next Generation Science Standards
Science 19 April 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6130 pp. 276-277
This article discusses how aspects such as authorship, coordination among subject areas, and broader goals of college and career readiness give reason to believe that this effort will be more successful than previous attempts to use standards to improve science education

Literacy and Science: Education in the Service of the Other
Science 23 April 2010: Vol. 328 no. 5977 pp. 459-463
This article addresses how reading and writing can be used as tools to support inquiry-based science, and how reading and writing benefit when embedded in an inquiry-based science setting?

Supporting Students in Developing Literacy in Science
Science 23 April 2010: Vol. 328 no. 5977 pp. 456-459
This article outlines five instructional and curricular features that will promote students’ ability to read, write, and communicate about science so that they can engage in inquiry throughout their lives.

“Letter on STEM Education”
This news article discusses the Letter on STEM Education, published by the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress, urging parents to demand better science classes.



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