Elementary Science and Language Arts: Should We Blur the Boundaries?

Authors


  • Author Note: Valarie L. Dickinson, Department of Teaching and Learning, Washington State University; Terrell A. Young, Department of Teaching and Learning, Washington State University.

concerning this article should be addressed to Valarie L. Dickinson, Department of Teaching and Learning, Washington State University, Richland, WA 99352. Electronic mail may be sent via Internet to vdickins@tricity.wsu.edu

Abstract

Elementary school goals for instruction focus on developing literate readers and writers. It has been recommended that language arts strategies can help elementary teachers more effectively teach science. The terms “integrated, interdisciplinary, and thematic instruction” are defined and examples are given for using each in an elementary classroom. Definitions are provided comparing language arts and scientific literacy. Use of thematic instruction with an interdisciplinary focus is recommended to help meet both language arts and science goals and objectives as they relate to the National Science Education Standards and the National English Language Arts Standards. Recommendations are made for helping teachers effectively use language arts strategies to help develop science literacy, and science to provide purpose for reading and writing activities within thematic, interdisciplinary instruction often found in elementary schools.

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