Children's Ways with Science and Literacy

Integrated Multimodal Enactments in Urban Elementary Classrooms

Edited by Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas

© 2013 – Routledge

228 pages

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Paperback: 9780415897853
pub: 2012-11-19
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Hardback: 9780415897846
pub: 2012-11-19
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About the Book

Science is often a forgotten subject in early elementary grades as various mandates require teachers to focus on teaching young students to achieve specific reading and mathematical competencies. This book offers specific examples and empirical evidence of how integrated science-literacy curriculum and teaching in urban primary-grade classrooms give students opportunities to learn science and to develop positive images of themselves as scientists.

The Integrated Science-Literacy Enactments (ISLE) approach builds on multimodal, multidimensional, and dialogically oriented teaching and learning principles. Readers see how, as children engage with texts, material objects, dialogue, ideas, and symbols in their classroom community, they are helped to bridge their own understandings and ways with words and images with those of science. In doing so, they become learners of both science and literacy. The book features both researcher and teacher perspectives. It explores science learning and its intersection with literacy development in schools that educate predominately children of color, many of whom struggle with poverty and have been traditionally underestimated, underserved, and underrated in science classrooms. In all these ways, this volume is a significant contribution to a critically under-researched area of science education.


"This work is particularly notable because it provides concrete examples of how to deliver high quality science content in an elementary classroom along with classroom artifacts of the ISLE curriculum generated by elementary school age learners in urban school settings. The authors provide a sound research basis for the effectiveness of these instructional methodologies thus making this text an appropriate resource for university level science education faculty engaged in preparing pre-service teachers for teaching science in the primary grades, literacy faculty working with pre-service teachers, and practicing teachers who have a desire to hone their skills in developing and delivering cross-curricular units in science and literacy. … an excellent resource for engaging in study that addresses equity issues that abound in our nation's schools." —Teachers College Record

Table of Contents



1. Integrating Science and Literacy: Forms and Functions

Maria Varelas & Christine C. Pappas


2. Read-Alouds of Children’s Literature Information Books: Dialogic Sharing and Intertextuality

Amy Arsenault, Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas, Anne Barry, & Neveen Keblawe-Shamah

3. Children’s Language Acts: Diverse Forms of Classroom Participation in Read-Alouds

Eli Tucker-Raymond, Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas, & Ibett Ortiz

4. Hands-On explorations that Nurture Scientific Practices: Linking Doing with Thinking and Talking

Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas, Justine M. Kane, Amy Arsenault, Jennifer Hankes, & Begoña Marnotes Cowan

5. Book Writing and Illustrating: Ways with Text and Pictures

Christine C. Pappas, Maria Varelas, Hongmei Dong, Li Ye, Sofia Kokkino Patton, Tamara Ciesla, & Sharon Gill

6. Dramatizing as a Tool for Thinking and Speech

Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas, Eli Tucker-Raymond, Justine M. Kane, Jennifer Hankes, Ibett Ortiz, & Neveen Keblawe-Shamah

7. Scientific Practices in Home Projects: Exploring at Home, Sharing at School

Amy Arsenault, Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas, & Tamara Ciesla


8. Learning Together Over Time: Young Children Making Meaning

Justine M. Kane, Maria Varelas, Christine C. Pappas, Lynne Pieper, Jennifer Hankes, & Begoña Marnotes Cowan

9. Children’s Conceptions of Being Scientists

Eli Tucker-Raymond, Maria Varelas, & Christine C. Pappas


10. Young Children in Urban Classrooms: Possibilities for Sciencing

Maria Varelas & Christine C. Pappas

About the Editors

Maria Varelas is Professor of Science Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Christine C. Pappas is Professor Emerita of Literacy and Language Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology