Date of Award/Publication

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education

Abstract

In most science classrooms, one of the most challenging aspects of teaching science is getting students to understand and apply scientific concepts. Most students have simple, generalized knowledge of the concepts, but they lack in the ability to articulate their knowledge and to comprehend questions that use scientific terminology. As a result, many of these students do poorly on standardized tests. The objective of this study was to increase middle school students' skills in reading, comprehension, and oratory articulation in science by implementing the following literacy strategies: Read-Alouds, graphic organizers, K-W-L (Know, Want to know, and Learned)charts, and writing to learn assignments. In addition to these strategies, inquiry-based activities were developed to increase students' learning, understanding, and confidence in a science classroom. At the conclusion of this study, it was found that most students' achievement levels significantly increased as a result of these literary and critical thinking tools. Additionally, students' understanding and confidence levels increased the most when the activities and literacy methods within the lessons were closely related to the students' learning styles and the researcher' s ability to create hands-on learning experiences.

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