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Promoting Scientific Literacy through the Writing of Abstracts

The Science Teacher—March/April 2024 (Volume 91, Issue 2)

By Alexander Eden

Students are provided with plenty of opportunities to acquire new knowledge based on the various scientific disciplines they explore in their schooling. However, it can sometimes be difficult to integrate activities that build scientific literacy amidst all of the other assignments. This idea bank shares an assignment that encourages students to read scientific articles of their choosing and write abstracts based on what they read. Students are introduced to popular science magazines such as National Geographic and Popular Science and given time to explore the various topics that those magazines write about. After that, they are introduced to the "Science, science, read all about it!" assignment and informed that they will be writing abstracts based on their readings. Students are then provided background on the purpose of an abstract, as well as an example. This recurring assignment is due on a bi-weekly basis throughout the school year and allows students to continually engage with literature, build scientific literacy, and improve their skills in writing and abstract which may also benefit them in the future. Overall, it is important for students to build scientific literacy as they embark on their journey through life.

Learning Progression Literacy Pedagogy High School

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