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How to Add Writing to Your STEM Curriculum

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

Recent research shows the importance of integrating writing and vocabulary skills into STEM lesson plans. Not only is the ability to write crucial to any child’s education, but leading educational experts link the importance of reading comprehension to writing skills and how both go hand-in-hand in the education space.

However, adding writing components can be a real challenge when attempting to pull together a STEM curriculum. Today we're discussing the best ways to integrate writing into your STEM curriculum and how to merge the benefits of activity-based learning with a hands-on approach to writing.

Importance of Vocabulary

As noted above, vocabulary is essential for students to develop their writing and reading comprehension skills. One Massachusetts education plan notes that including key vocabulary words when setting up your STEM curriculum can significantly impact your student's learning experience, and we couldn't agree more.

One way to start incorporating vocabulary words into your STEM curriculum is to look over experiment instructions and see if any words may be unfamiliar to your children. You can also get creative and include vocabulary words that may describe a chemical reaction or illustrate the materials' texture or look. By expanding your children's exploration of the materials while also giving them words to describe the experience, you better equip them for future studies.

Be sure to define STEM-associated words, such as "experiment" and "hypothesis," or other more complex words for older students. You can build familiarity with terms by having students use the words in the sentence or asking them the definition during the experiment for a tactile association.

Beginner Lab Reports

College and graduate students may be asked to write lab reports in their STEM classes. However, starting this practice early may give students time to adjust to using scientific language and recording their observations. For younger students, you can develop a standard lab report sheet that asks them questions about what they observed and include things like their hypothesis and the methods used for the experiment. Older students can be asked to write longer pieces, including their methods and recordings.

You can also use these writing exercises to incorporate vocabulary words by asking students to match them to reactions or to integrate the vocabulary into their writing assignments. While professional lab reports require neutral or impersonal language, slowly work into this practice with your students by explaining why objective language is essential when approaching science and try to be encouraging of all writing attempts.

Experiment Summary Projects

Whether you assign one-sentence summaries or look for several-page essays, encouraging your students to record their experiments and describe the outcome can help tie STEM learning to writing skills. From exploring the impacts of their scientific discoveries to explaining a famous scientist or theory, STEM writing assignments can instill a love of the subject while reinforcing various topics. Some fun STEM writing assignments include explaining an experiment to an outsider, giving directions on how to do the experiment at home, or writing a mini biography on their favorite scientist.

Whatever method you employ, incorporating writing skills, reading comprehension, and vocabulary into STEM studies is a crucial part of any STEM curriculum. While attempting to merge two topics can be daunting at first, the results of your efforts will be literate, engaged students with a good grasp of language. If you are looking for more education tips, check out our other blogs to learn more!


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