K-3 Development Sponsored by Nissan
The books that accompany the units will be used as springboards to the engineering design activities, not as a replacement for them. The books will be in different genres, including nonfiction as well as fiction. Children will see that text plays a variety of roles in relation to science: Different genres, from science fiction and fantasy to biography to informational texts, can inspire children to see themselves in the role of scientist and engineer, reveal to them the larger historical context of scientific advances, and serve as resources for their own scientific inquiry.
The units will focus on all dimensions of literacy, including speaking and writing as well as reading. By engaging in structured conversation with peers about their observations, plans, and conjectures, and by keeping a journal or notebook of their actions and results, children are learning and practicing the skills of both science and literacy. Children will develop literacy skills as they learn to do exactly what scientists docommunicate their processes and findings in words and written notes, diagrams, and charts. Teachers will be encouraged to make connections between the activities in the units and other literacy activities, and to make use of both the books provided with the curriculum and other relevant science-based literatureboth fiction and nonfictionin their classrooms. However, the materials will make clear that additional time spent on literacy focused activities should not be taken from the time allotted to the engineering design units.