Literacy Supports in Science- For FREE

One of the questions that I often get asked is, where do I find text that meets the reading level of all my students? There are 2 go to websites that I frequently use to support literacy learning in Science classes:

  1.  Newsela: is a resource out of the states that takes contemporary news articles form major new outlets and rewrites them at multiple reading levels (some as low as grade 2). As if that isn’t helpful enough, you can also access text sets (collections of articles on a topic) that students can then read online, in PDF or print out.
    • My favourite strategy:
      • Find a few articles on the topic you are currently addressing in science.
      • Print (so they can be marked up with all sorts of literacy strategies) each of the articles, making sure that one of the articles is in the lowest reading level suitable for your class and that one of the articles is at the highest reading level for your class.
      • Incorporate reading strategies: predict what the article will be about based on the picture/title; identify the tricky words; summarise the main idea and find supporting details using sticky notes…
    • Draw backs:
      • There is a lack of Canadian specific news- unless it hits the world stage (eg. wildfires in Fort McMurray)
      • Newsela has a “PRO” side and many of the embedded features (eg. assessing students’ progress)are only available through a paid account.
  2. Wonderopolis: is a web based resource that has articles searchable by subject. This site is nicely targeted at intermediate students with its ability to stretch into early middle years. Some of the features that I really like are:
    • Wonder words: highlighted words in text
    • Simple read aloud: by highlighting text and clicking the speaker icon that appears, students can hear that piece of text read to them.
    • Try it out: a section at the end of the text that asks questions, suggests activities and explorations you can do that are related to the article.

What are some other places, resources, and ideas you have to integrate literacy learning and supports in your science classroom? Please leave your comments below.

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