Teach about Earth Science with reading comprehension and get two Wins! | Mentoring in the Middle

Teach about Earth Science with reading comprehension and get two Wins!

Have you ever encountered grumbling from students that sounds like, "Why do we have to learn about this?  We're never going to use it."

For some reason - and maybe it was my own excitement and awe about studying the planets - I don't remember hearing it when it came to studying space exploration.  

Image of a black hole in outer space

The students knew two things about me regarding outer space.  On my bucket list was to "ride" on the back of the Hubble.  And secondly, there was a limit to my scientific understanding of time/space concepts and sometimes, I'd have to shrug and say, "It's magic."  

I wouldn't recommend doing that with high school or college students but with 6th graders?  It worked.

Two pictures relating to black holes

Last year, I decided to write some passages that demystified difficult concepts so that students in upper elementary grades and middle school could understand them.  Why?

  • Students are curious about the world around them and that includes outer space
  • Studying planets, galaxies, stars, and the origin of Earth builds up a sense of awe in them
  • Concepts like gravity, light, orbits, or the life cycle of a star require students to think critically 
  • The vastness of space is mind-boggling, and it's good for students to wrestle with concepts that are beyond them
  • It helps to learn some of the science behind black holes
  • It helps to understand the thinking behind space that is amazing even 
  • Learning about the vastness of the universe is humbling
  • Outer space evokes curiosity.  The questions come flying!
  • And my personal favorite: Reading passages about Science blends two subject areas and strengthens both, providing background knowledge about one topic and reinforcing comprehension skills in the other.
Two pages of quiz questions about the Voyager Spacecraft
There are currently two Science passages in my TeachersPayTeachers store with more coming.  Each comes digitally and in PDF formats, and they both have 9 multiple-choice questions and 1 text-dependent response.  
Product cover for The Golden Record reading passageProduct cover for Black Holes reading passage
Take a closer look.  They are on sale for 20% off today through Tuesday!

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