Science Reading for ELA
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Science Reading for ELA
Science is not dull and boring! Science is about creative people making connections.... Worth reading
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What salamanders can teach us about baseball

What salamanders can teach us about baseball | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Researchers have increased our understanding of how people and animals deal with sensorimotor delay in day-to-day interactions by analyzing the hunting skills of salamanders.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

This is just plain cool. And there are lots of spinoffs. What other animals use predictive hunting? Can students make their own videos to support, say, a cat catching a toy in mid-air? If you are reading Maze Runner, Catching Fire, etc. can you find examples of this type of sensorimotor delay in the descriptive text?  

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3-D Printing Prosthetic Hands That Are Anything but Ordinary

3-D Printing Prosthetic Hands That Are Anything but Ordinary | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Three-dimensional printers create inexpensive, striking prosthetics that hint at comic-book superpowers for children who are missing fingers.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

A feel-good story at the early MS level. Could be used as the intro to a micro-funding project, a crowd-funding project, or any cloud/group project. Or maybe just because you have a 3D printer now and want some ideas.   

There's nice little metaphor in the article and some functional science vocabulary. Notice that the girl in the article wears pink while the boys wear Cyborg.  What would you wear?

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Successful launch of NASA's Orion spacecraft heralds first step on journey to Mars

Successful launch of NASA's Orion spacecraft heralds first step on journey to Mars | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
NASA marked a critical step on the journey to Mars with its Orion spacecraft during a roaring liftoff into the dawn sky over eastern Florida
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Gosh - I hope someone is still reading The Martian Chronicles. This gem contains some of the best stories ever about interracial communication, technology, and love. This piece, of course, is about our quest to make the dream come true...

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Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's curator insight, December 5, 2014 5:53 PM

And I for one believe in Bradbury, if not in life on Mars.

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Candy: The next battle in America’s health war?

Candy: The next battle in America’s health war? | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
It’s sweet. It should be a treat. And it could become a scourge as a nation tries to regulate what its increasingly plump citizens can eat.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Timely topic, but also a very fine exercise in voice. I would call it friendly and nudging. How is it done? Students will have fun with this one. There are also data and nutritional factoids, quotations and summative statements. Teachers who can ask the right questions will find it worth their while.  And OH what a debate you can have!

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How Wolves Change Rivers

How Wolves Change Rivers | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
In nature, everything is connected -- connected in ways you might not expect.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Find here two videos from George Monbiot - "How Wolves Change Rivers" is suitable for middle school; his TED talk that expands the "rewilding" concept for upper middle, GT, and high school.  These are persuasive pieces driven by "evidence" and logic.  They can be outlined, timelined, researched, argued against, localized. Great stuff for environmental studies.  What is the role(s) of Man, by the way, in rewilding?  

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Does NASA's Data Show Doomsday for New York City?

Does NASA's Data Show Doomsday for New York City? | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
If we don't do something quick to stop global warming, some of the biggest cities in America could go the way of Atlantis in just a matter of decades.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Following the thread of yesterday's New York Times debate on the value of fiction to create awareness of fact...  Sometimes information is even more effective.

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Home | National Climate Assessment

Home | National Climate Assessment | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it

Highlights and full Report can be read online or downloaded.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

The 2014 Report: Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Essential background for students researching the issue. Includes impacts and key issues by region.

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When good people do bad things: Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs

When good people do bad things: Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it

Researchers find that being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs. When people get together in groups, unusual things can happen -- both good and bad. 

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

How many novels and plays do students read about groups that go awry or tempt a protagonist to do so?  Lord of the Flies, Noughts and Crosses, Romeo & Juliette, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Huck Finn, to name just a few.  This would be tough for MS, but a good match for HS.

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How We Learned That Frogs Fly

How We Learned That Frogs Fly | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Two Harvard professors. One on a rooftop with a bucket of frogs. The other in the front yard, down below. Ready? Get set. Throw!
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Don't know that every child would be comfortable reading this, but my favorite 5-year old loved the story.  There is science here - at least one good theory with some supportive statements.  Give it a read. Nice inspiration for student reporting as well.

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Why the Media Stumble Over the Environment

Chapter from “A Field Guide for Science Writers,” second edition 

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:
A fascinating 13p. read perfect for a HS class. Much more than a reporter's/blogger's perspective, this is an analysis of how science news is "pegged" or spun by the print and nonprint media. It is a profoundly cautionary literacy lesson.
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Keeping Robots In Line With The Law

Keeping Robots In Line With The Law | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Attendees at the annual We Robot conference are peering into the future, pondering questions like, do robots have rights? What kinds of laws do we need to regulate unmanned drones?
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Certainly not a comprehensive piece.  But: follow the links to the two highlighted papers submitted for the conference AND have students address the questions asked in the piece and in the papers.  For example, If a robot is reading your email, is that spying?

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The Butterfly Effect: Do Monarchs' Woes Signal Broader Problems?

The Butterfly Effect: Do Monarchs' Woes Signal Broader Problems? | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
The great monarch migration is in peril, a victim of rampant herbicide use in faraway corn and soybean fields, extreme weather, a tiny microbial pathogen and deforestation. Monarch butterfly populations are plummeting.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Better than most reporting.  Good vocabulary, facts that can be cross-checked, and no excuses.  Read it with MS or HS - and plant that milkweed!  Perhaps a letter-writing PBL unit could follow (great for spring).  Of course, you also have to ask - Why worry about the Monarch?  

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How the Big Bang discovery came about

How the Big Bang discovery came about | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Meg Urry explains the sequence of discoveries that led to the marvelous new evidence of the birth pangs of the Big Bang.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

There is a lot of definition here, in addition to explanation, a whole lot of simile and metaphor.  I just love it, even though I can not imagine the Big Before.  

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10 Breakthrough Technologies 2015 | MIT Technology Review

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2015 | MIT Technology Review | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Technology news is full of incremental developments. These are the breakthroughs that matter.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

And an article about each to get students supercharged. If you read SF, many of these will be familiar to you, via cautionary tales.

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Best Selling Science Books

Best Selling Science Books | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
A selection of best-selling nonfiction books about the sciences.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

For HS and gifted MS readers.  Many can be read in shorter selections or chapters.  

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The science of why cops shoot young black men

The science of why cops shoot young black men | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
The single best intervention involved putting people into scenarios and mindsets in which a black person became their ally (or even saved their life) while white people were depicted as the bad guys.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

ELA teachers: Students certainly can read this, especially when connected to multicultural lit. Note also the above quote. By reading - and discussing - lit. with non-white protagonists, you will be helping to form mindsets that balance automatic racially biased responses to real-life situations. Head on over to We Need Diverse Books (http://weneeddiversebooks.org/where-to-find-diverse-books/) for ideas.  More ideas for books, anyone?  

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The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon

The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Before the smartphone, the laptop and the pocket calculator, there was a powerful mechanical computer. Our new series, Tools of the Trade, begins with a look at the slide rule.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

and also, ""The slide rule is an instrument that was used to design virtually everything."  Just history?  something to put in the survival bag - with instructions?  Show the tool to your kids.

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Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear?

Should You Fear the Pizzly Bear? | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
As climate change alters habitats, once-disparate animals are shacking up, creating hybrids that challenge our notion of what it means to be a species.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Great piece from the NYTimes Magazine to accompany any reading of cli-fi at the 8th + level.  Like all good informational text, it could easily cross into a science curriculum.  

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New Contraceptive Shot Being Released in Africa

New Contraceptive Shot Being Released in Africa | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
A new form of the contraceptive Depo-Provera is being introduced in four African countries this year, and its backers hope that its simplicity may eventually allow women to inject themselves.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Just finished Brown's Inferno for a rainy day read - and this hit a nerve. Following up on the concept can be fruitful: what is Pfizer's gain? what of the name change? the plastic bubble? why the need? religious response and resistance?

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Is coding the new literacy?

Is coding the new literacy? | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Why America's schools need to train a generation of hackers.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Actually, the article does not make the argument indicated by the blurb above. What the article does do is this: makes a model argument for improving/changing something (in this case, the teaching of computational thinking and simple coding) based upon data, illustrative example, and historical information. Wow! There are few writing models more suited for upper MS and HS. And student readers might just decide to try some coding...

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Spiders Tune In To Web's Music To Size Up Meals And Mates

Spiders Tune In To Web's Music To Size Up Meals And Mates | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it

, oPluck the silk of a spider web and it vibrates like a guitar string, scientists say. By strumming the strands and detecting the tune via sensors in its legs, a spider gets key information.

Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

What is not fascinating about this merge of science, music, short video and informational text?  Use it in the middle grades, where students will not be too old to "play spider" on the playground or in the gym. Experiment with different "web" materials. Explore real stringed instruments too. And don't forget spider poetry, of which there is a fair amount by the best poets.  Great stuff. 

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Three Long Views of Life With Rising Seas

Three Long Views of Life With Rising Seas | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
A novelist, an astrobiologist and an ecologist explore the impact of centuries of rising seas.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

The blogging NYT author of Dot Earth continues the discussion of the "non-hyped" view of rising seas due to climate change. If this series is not fodder for textual comparison, I don't what might be. It appropriately ends with this question: What's your path?

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Skip the meat on Earth Day

Skip the meat on Earth Day | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Is it possible to eat meat in modern-day America, consider yourself an environmentalist and sleep soundly without being a hypocrite?
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

A personal persuasive essay suitable for middle school.  It opens the door for action projects, in addition to providing some useful vocabulary for writing, a format that lends itself to imitation, and some good data.

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The Power of Poop: A Whale Story

The Power of Poop: A Whale Story | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
Whales are famous for spouts and blowholes. Turns out there's another whale opening that's just as important, but I'm too polite to mention it.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

More of a report on science than a scientific report.  What attracted me was the use of simple, hand-drawn illustrations. A natural system is made quite clear by the use of straightforward language and simple, engaging images.  Students can do this!  

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Marian Locksley's curator insight, April 5, 2014 1:08 PM

 

                                            SAVE   OUR   WHALES

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Visuals

Visuals | Science Reading for ELA | Scoop.it
A column that looks at the data behind science and health developments.
Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain's insight:

Graphical literacy and, in some cases, exercises in critical reading.  Most of the topics are of interest to HS age students.

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