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Science Scope: Checklist for Feature Articles

Science Scope: Checklist for Feature Articles

Never written a feature article for Science Scope before? Follow this checklist as you prepare your manuscript. You’ll soon be on your way to getting published!

Before You Start Writing

Read a few Science Scope articles to get a sense of the voice, the format, and the types of feature articles that have been published previously. You are also encouraged to view a sample article at Feature articles generally focus on practical ideas that have been conducted in the classroom and contain enough supporting detail to allow other middle school science educators to replicate the lesson. Although each issue of Science Scope is centered on a specific theme, your manuscript does NOT have to be aligned to a theme. General submissions are always needed and welcome.

After Writing

Give your manuscript to a colleague or friend and have them use the following checklist to make sure that you’ve addressed all the necessary requirements, then upload your work to Manuscript Central at

Information for Callout Box

_____Content Area

_____Grade Level

_____Big Idea/Unit

_____Essential Pre-existing knowledge

_____Time Required

_____Costs (for a class of 30)

_____Basic Safety Requirements



_____Gives a brief overview of what the reader will learn

_____Describes how your lesson is linked to research and/or the NGSS

_____Contains appropriate current research citations, personal experiences, or other evidence to support the strategies your article recommends and the claims it makes

_____Explains the educational value of the activity

_____Provides a transition to the main body


Main Body: Includes

_____Clear directions

_____Description of phenomenon being explored (if a student activity)

_____Evidence of use in classroom (student quotes, problems encountered, unexpected results, etc.)

_____Tips for managing classroom and student materials

_____Student directions, questions, and other tasks that require higher-order thinking skills and application of content

_____Appropriate safety procedures

_____A list of materials (brand names should be avoided), quantity, and cost required for a class of 30


Main Body: General characteristics

_____Thorough; the activities, procedures, examples, and other components are complete

_____Easy to read and logically sequenced

_____Inclusive with regard to gender, multicultural awareness, and costs

_____Scientifically accurate



Differentiation and Assessment

_____Includes differentiation strategies for students with special needs provided

_____Includes effective formative and summative assessments

_____Assessments are accessible and unbiased; grade-level appropriate language is used

_____Includes rubrics, answer keys, and scoring guidelines

_____Sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance is offered



_____Summarizes a reflection of your learning and/or what you would do differently next time



_____Alphabetized by author

_____Limited to current research

_____Limited to no more than 12 of the most germane references

_____Page numbers are provided for any direct quote


Supplemental Files

_____Samples of student work provided (ex. graphs, concept maps, models, exit slips, journal entries, etc.)

_____Images are at least 300 dpi

_____Photos of students are candid and model proper safety

_____Signed parent permission slip or NSTA Model Release Form has been collected for all students shown in photos

_____Photos of hard-to-describe items such as equipment, lab set-ups, models, etc. are included

_____Multimedia files (.ppt, .mov, slide shows, audio files forwarded to via


NGSS Table

_____If a classroom activity, an NGSS chart is included

_____If appropriate, Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and/or Mathematics are listed in the Connection Box of the NGSS. If so, is the alignment grade-level appropriate?


Manuscript Basics

_____Word document, with supplemental materials saved as separate files

_____Written in 2000 words or less (not counting references, captions, and supplemental text)

_____12-pont font; one-inch margins


_____Reviewed by someone other than a science teacher

_____Blinded (by removing all identifying information such as names and institutions)



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