Making Time for Science and Social Studies Lessons

Science and Social Studies in Grades K-3-- Who has time?!
How do you get science and social studies lessons into your day.  Sometimes our schedules are so full it's hard to find time for these important content areas.

Students in grades K-3 are learning how to be learners.  I believe their day should focus on the “3 R’s”.  So what do you do with the science and social studies objectives you’re required to cover?  You can do it all, but you need to think of science and social studies differently than an upper elementary teacher.
With more and more emphasis on informational text you have the perfect way to bring these content areas into your reading, writing and math lessons.  Many of your science and social studies lessons can even take place during your ELA and Math blocks of time.
Here are a few ways you can bring the content areas into your reading and writing instruction.

Use your science and social studies textbooks during your reading lessons. Students in the lower grades (and upper grades, too) need to learn how to use this type of book.  Your mini-lessons could include;

*How to use the book, table of contents, glossary, index.  Give them lots of topics to look up.  Write a few questions with answers that can be found in you science or social studies text.  Then have students sort them according to which book part would help them the most; Table of Contents, Glossary, or Index

*Using Text Features, bold print, special fonts, headings, subheadings, captions, graphs, tables, charts, illustrations, diagrams, timelines, etc.  Have book scavenger hunts to find these different features and spend time talking about how they add information that may not be in the regular text.

*Explore text structures, informational text is usually organized in a special way; main idea/details, question/answer, cause/effect, etc.  Find examples of each type of structure and practice pulling out important facts and writing it on a graphic organizer.


*Use interactive notebooks and graphic organizers;  Graphic organizers not only help students see the text structure they help students recognize and organize important information.  After a graphic organizer is completed you can use that information to write summaries, mini-books, or other short displays or presentations.   

*Merge with Math;   I don’t know all the standards used by other states, or around the rest of the world, but I would guess they include collecting and interpreting data and using measurement.   Science and social studies activities will give your students wonderful opportunities for hands on experiences in these areas.  The scientific method is all about making estimates, and then collecting measureable data.  In social studies, events from history can be placed on a timeline, changes over time can be placed on a graph to be compared.

Think Projects!  Kids love anything that’s called a project.  The word just sounds fun!  But, projects are also a fantastic way to bring reading, writing, math, science and social studies together.  The project could include a little bit of research (reading, note taking, writing), a written piece (writing), taking a survey or collecting data (math) and creating something that demonstrates the students’ learning.  And don’t forget the creative and artistic talents that come out during projects.
I think the secret to finding time to teach science and social studies is that there is no additional time in your day.  Don’t cut your reading, writing and math time short to squeeze in science and social studies lessons.  Instead, find ways to cover that content in your ELA and Math blocks of time.  I believe it will make all you lessons more meaningful and fun for kids.  


I think the secret to finding time to teach science and social studies is that there is no additional time in your day.  Don’t cut your reading, writing and math time short to squeeze in science and social studies lessons.  Instead, find ways to cover that content in your ELA and Math blocks of time.  I believe it will make all you lessons more meaningful and fun for kids.   

Here are some materials from Crockett's classroom that might help you incorporate science and social studies into reading, writing, language and math.


2nd and 3rd grade Math and Informative Writing project, Wi Interactive Notebook, Third Grade---Crockett's Classroom Reference Sources---Crockett's Classroom








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