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ERIC Number: EJ1203349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1449-6313
An Integrated Approach in Promoting the Development of Literacy and Scientific Skills in the Primary Science Classroom
Liston, Maeve; Hennessy, Niamh
Teaching Science, v64 n4 p22-31 Dec 2018
The aim of this research was to explore the use of children's stories as a methodology in the primary science curriculum. This paper reports on a pilot project involving the design and development of science lessons integrating the book, 'We're All Going on a Bear Hunt', with children ranging in age from 6-8 years old in two different primary schools in Ireland (N= 48). The science lessons included science activities based on the context of the story and on problems that the children investigated in the topics of: light; sound; properties and characteristics of materials; and materials and change. Different reading, comprehension, writing and oral language development strategies were also used during the science lessons at every stage of the 5 E learning cycle. A questionnaire was completed by pupils before and after they investigated different scientific concepts using the book. The primary teachers involved in the study were interviewed after delivering the lessons to their classes, to investigate their opinions on the lessons. This project showed how science lessons can be effectively used in promoting literacy through oral language, reading and writing. It also highlighted how literacy strategies can promote children's scientific thinking and reasoning skills, helping children to achieve a deeper level of understanding about scientific concepts and the science around them. The literacy strategies incorporated into the inquiry-based science lessons were also effective in empowering the children to think critically by engaging them at a deeper level during the planning, predicting, exploring and conclusion phases of the investigations. Comments from the teachers provided an insight into how literacy and science are still being taught as separate subject areas and show that the integration of subjects, in particular science and English, needs much improvement in the primary classroom. Findings also highlight the need for continuous professional development (CPD) programmes and support in this area. The results are now being used to inform the design and development of future CPD workshops for teachers on the simultaneous development of both literacy and scientific skills in the primary science classroom in Ireland.
Australian Science Teachers Association. P.O. Box 334, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6282-9377; Fax: +61-02-6282-9477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland