How to integrate science into reading blocks

Brian Townsend is a Professional Learning Specialist at IXL with 8 years of experience in education. He has served as a 5th grade teacher, ELA Department Chair, and Instructional Coach. 

Science is the foundation of our existence: Our everyday lives are driven by scientific discoveries and advancements. Without science, we wouldn’t have fire, cars, computers, or most of the everyday tools we use. Yet, science instruction often takes a backseat to math and English language arts in schools. 

Quality science instruction has two large hurdles: time and resources. Whether you’re struggling to fit science content into your day-to-day routine because of a lack of time or a lack of resources, IXL can help! 

One of the simplest ways to incorporate science into your everyday instruction is to tie it into your reading blocks. And with IXL skills that cover both science and ELA, teachers can easily find the content to help students strengthen their reading and writing skills while learning new science concepts. 

Read on to learn more about IXL’s science and ELA content and how you can integrate both in your classroom. 

IXL skills that integrate science and reading 

IXL’s comprehensive curriculum includes science for grades K-8 and ELA for grades K-12. Let’s look at two key types of skills on IXL that help you merge science and ELA instruction in a simple and effective way. 

IXL’s science literacy skills help students learn to read and evaluate nonfiction texts, tables, and diagrams. These skills use nonfiction, science-based texts that are perfect for including science content while practicing reading and writing.

Additionally, IXL’s informational texts skills are especially helpful for learners as they begin to explore nonfiction texts. These skills help students develop crucial interdisciplinary skills, such as identifying the main idea, comparing and contrasting information, and analyzing passages, all while exploring interesting science topics.  

3 ways to incorporate IXL Science into reading blocks

Whole-class instruction

IXL Group Jams provide the perfect opportunity for whole-class instruction. Group Jams ensure that all students are viewing the same question on their screen at the same time. Introduce a topic to your class by projecting the skill on your board and walking through the question as a class. 

With a Group Jam, you can see students’ answers to the questions without calling on them individually. This gives you immediate insights into student understanding and allows you to reteach or work through trouble spots as a class before releasing students to practice skills on their own.

Small-group work

Following whole-class instruction, teachers can also benefit from using Group Jams for small-group intervention. Once a science topic has been covered with the whole class, teachers can pull students that are still struggling to work through skills as a group. 

Station rotation

Finally, as part of a station rotation during a balanced literacy block, you can assign a specific IXL skill to students. As students rotate around the room, students at one specific station would work on a particular skill that aligns with the science instruction happening in the classroom. This approach allows you to cover multiple science topics within a reading block.

For more implementation ideas, explore how educators are using IXL in their classrooms in our case studies.

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How to integrate science into reading blocks