Blogs, Reading

Incorporating Science and Social Studies into Language Arts Curriculum

In Reading Fluency, we talked about the importance of students becoming fluent readers. In today’s post, I wanted to give you some ideas related to how you can incorporate science and social studies education into your language arts curriculum by way of reading fluency passages.

Students are working on developing their reading skills every time they are reading, that means even when they are reading a science book or a history passage, they are working on and strengthening those reading and fluency skills. Why not use that time as a supplement for your science or social studies curriculum?

Suppose that you will be introducing a new topic to your students. As an introduction to the material, you can incorporate the topic into your fluency work! For example, suppose that you are preparing to introduce a unit on The Government of the United States to your students. If you were to assign the reading fluency passages, Government of the United States, then the students would be presented with an introduction to the U.S. Government as part of the reading assignment. In particular, the first passage is focused on an introduction to our Government here in the U.S. I would recommend that you assign the Introduction to the Government of the United States passage the week before you introduce your unit focused on Government. You can then refer back to the material they have already read to make a stronger connection between the topics you are presenting and the material they have already read.

While presenting the material on the U.S. Government you can then assign the next reading fluency passage on the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial Branches of our Government depending on the order you have planned on presenting them in class. Over that period you could continue to make connections between the fluency assignments you have given them and the material you are presenting.

While I show this example because we have already talked about it, you could use this same technique for any topic you are interested in introducing. For example, lets say you are building a unit on Body Systems and are interested in using reading fluency as a way to supplement your science unit. I would suggest that you search for a bundle of fluency passages that are related to the body systems and use that as a building block when outlining your unit of study.

Because your students will be reading the same passage multiple times to help them become fluent readers, they will also be given multiple opportunities to really absorb the idea or message of a text. Think about the last time you read something for the second or third time, you likely discovered something in the text that you missed during the first read. The same thing happens when students read a text multiple times, and this will then help your students learn because they will pick up pieces of knowledge each time they read. Each piece of knowledge your students learn will be used to deepen their understanding of a topic or idea.

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