Writing for Science Learning: Book Creator

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Science teacher Kathy Blakemore has inspired generations of seventh-graders to take better care of our planet, to be curious about all its inhabitants, and to learn more about what makes its ecosystems work as they do.

Recently, Kathy and her students at Elsinore Middle School in Lake Elsinore, California decided to take their learning public. Using Book Creator, the students published a book titled, Incredible Invertebrates. Students worked in teams to identify sources about various phyla and then synthesize graphics and their reading. They learned about what it takes to write a book that is appealing to their audience as well.

Amazing Invertebrates

Incredible Invertebrates Click to read this book, made with Book Creator https://read.bookcreator.com

Each chapter is organized describing where the invertebrates live, what threats exist to their survival, and what fun facts the student scientists and authors uncovered. I was very impressed that the students cited their sources and identified key vocabulary that their readers will want to understand.

Congratulations to Mrs. B and her 7th-grade GEMS students on a job well done.

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2 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to preview this online book, created by middle school students. It was visually-pleasing to the eye and extremely informative on the subject matter. I also noticed that there were several scientific vocabulary words. I wonder what that process looked like for this class of students to learn them. Each student varies with his or her level of prior knowledge and some of these terms can be difficult, even for an adult, to understand. How do you get students to better understand these terms and engrain them into their memory so that they truly remember them? As teachers, we know it is one thing to read these content-based texts and yet another to fully understand them and apply what we have learned, especially when creating a text, such as this class book project. It is important for students to not just memorize what they have learned but to be able to analyze, compare, contrast, assess, extend the knowledge and still much more. I think this collaboration and research opportunity strongly supports students in that endeavor—I do not believe they will forget this activity or the information they learned any time soon! I would love to see more classrooms adopting this fun, engaging idea.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful contribution, Amelia. I know that the teacher makes use of Latin and Greek roots to help the students recall and understand difficult scientific nomenclature.

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