Digging Deeper

The art of a lesson plan

People keep looking at me funny when I tell them I have an internship that involves science and science education.  “Wait… don’t you teach language arts?”  Is the usual question I get.  And, when I proceed to tell them that I’m incorporating the science into language arts lessons, they continue to stare and ask how that might be possible.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how “possible” it might be to take lab science and create an authentic language arts lesson.  But, I like challenges.

The funny thing is, I’ve really found some great ways to connect science and language arts.  As I write my lessons, I’m waiting to hit a road block, but I really haven’t hit any.  Believe it or not, I really think science and language arts go hand in hand.  I’m not saying that this whole process was too easy- no, I still had to brainstorm a lot, but I really loved every second of it.

One of the citizen science lessons my group had to include involved investigating DNA sequences.  That made me a little nervous.  Because I didn’t want to just throw an article or a writing assignment at my students- boring… and too easy.  Instead, I started to think about poetry- kids really struggle with poetry, but I think once they get it, it’s all the more meaningful.  I started to think about the way poetry is woven together and how that mimics the way DNA is woven together.  If you change pieces of a poem, you get something totally new.  Similarly, if you change the sequence of DNA, you get something totally new.  Fascinating!  Poems are like DNA!  That led me to a lesson on “sequencing” poetry- chopping it apart to creating something new… Tada!  I have a connection to science.

This experience has shown me how much I love finding these connections and making them meaningful to students.  I might not be good at drawing or painting, but I truly think that writing lessons requires the same finesse.  And once all your ideas click, it truly becomes a masterpiece!

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