Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines The Nose Knows-Exploring Our Sense of Smell - Section 4: Independent Practice and Informal Assessment


With the heavy emphasis on language arts and math instruction, science and social studies instruction have taken a back seat.  It is thought that teaching reading for 2 1/2 hours every day will make better readers.  Yes, reading instruction is important, but if the students do not have the opportunity to practice their reading and writing in the content areas, growth will be limited. 

Often I hear that a weakness in reading and writing is vocabulary.  So, we spend time and money to "teach vocabulary" through a program.  Instead of investing those resources in that fashion, we really should be giving our students more exposure to vocabulary through the content areas.  If you watch the Video of my student reading the story that she illustrated, it is obvious that their is opportunity in such activities for vocabulary expansion.  You will hear her say, that smelling baby powder is dangerous because it can get in your LUNGS and cause DAMAGE.  That is some pretty impressive vocabulary for a kindergartener-vocabulary that is meaningful and not taught in isolation. 

I really think a tactical mistake is being made with the lack of focus on the content areas.  Content areas allow students to practice and expand literacy skills.  They are also motivating for students.  Students in my class will scream when I say it is time for science.  I do not hear such a response when I say it is time for reading class.

I think of my own experience in school and for me it was the content areas that were motivating.  Many years may have passed since I was in kindergarten, but I don't think much has changed when in comes to the innate curiosity these little ones possess.  As teachers, we must capitalize on this curiosity and use it to build readers and writers.

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Language Arts Instruction in the Content Areas
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The Nose Knows-Exploring Our Sense of Smell

Unit 2: My Five Senses
Lesson 9 of 12

Objective: Students will be able to describe what their sense of smell is and the body structure associated with it by categorizing different types of smells.

Big Idea: Observation is such an important part of science work. This lesson helps students better understand what their sense of smell is, preparing them for using it as part of their science observation skills.

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4 teachers like this lesson
Science, senses, Sight, Taste, Touch, smell
  55 minutes
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