Core Curriculum: Science 1

Introducing Science 1, the latest addition to our Core Curriculum series. This release addresses the unique needs of English language learners in their science journey.

Why is science important?

Learning science poses unique challenges and opportunities for English language learners (ELLs) in secondary school settings. But why is science important? Put simply, it is a gateway to understanding the world around us — from the intricacies of life and earth sciences to the fundamental principles of physical sciences. Science lessons teach observational, predictive, and data analysis skills that are critical in our technologically advanced world.

However, despite the universal relevance of science, its teaching and learning are entrenched in language and culture. For ELLs, two main obstacles arise: linguistic barriers and cultural differences.

Linguistic barriers are primarily seen in the scientific method, forming hypotheses, and analyzing data. This is because they all require a strong understanding of English to fully comprehend. Moreover, scientific language structures needed for key functional skills like describing changes or making predictions might be unfamiliar to ELLs.

Cultural differences also create challenges. Teaching methods and problem-solving approaches in science can vary significantly from one culture to another. ELLs may struggle to adapt to a new scientific framework different from their previous experiences.

Where does the Off2Class Science 1 series come in?

This is where our new Science 1 series of Off2Class Core Curriculum lessons come into play. The series incorporates highly contextualized language and focuses on language structures required for specific functional skills within the domain of science instruction. This integration helps ELLs understand and engage with scientific problems, making the science classroom accessible to everyone.

Science 1 comprises six units with an initial two lessons each. Together, they cover a range of topics from life and earth sciences to physical sciences, the scientific method, forming a hypothesis, observations, and analyzing and interpreting data. The goal of this series is to ensure all language is contextualized in situations students will regularly encounter in the classroom and laboratory.

In addition to making science education more accessible for ELLs, the Science 1 series saves time for teachers. Comprehensive teacher notes provide suggestions and additional activities, minimizing the amount of preparation time required. Homework and review activities also ensure ELLs don’t get left behind in their core science lessons.

By taking a universal, international approach, the Science 1 curriculum ensures that cultural diversity is respected and incorporated. This focus helps students feel more comfortable and engaged in the learning process, further enhancing their understanding of science.

In summary, Science 1 is a vital tool in addressing the linguistic and cultural challenges ELLs face in science education. Through its innovative approach and comprehensive support, it creates an inclusive environment where every student has the chance to excel. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to give your ELL students the support they need to thrive in their science lessons.

Off2Class Core Curriculum

The Off2Class Core Curriculum equips students with essential tools needed to comprehend and engage with content in a wide range of K12 disciplines. It places significant emphasis on crucial vocabulary and commonly used phrases across diverse academic fields. Through the thorough understanding of these language elements, students can gradually grasp and express increasingly complex language and concepts.

This curriculum is especially beneficial for students who possess a foundational understanding of English but require an additional boost in confidently expressing their ideas in particular subjects. For novices still in the process of constructing a robust English base, our upcoming Newcomers lesson series, scheduled for launch in late August 2023, serves as an excellent starting point.

Although the vocabulary in the Core Curriculum lessons primarily derives from North American educational systems, teachers from varied educational environments can also benefit from these lessons with minimal adjustments. The initial module of 72 lessons spans across Classroom Language and Skills, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Science 1

Science 1 consists of 12 lessons and 6 units, each focusing on a specific area typically studied in K12 settings. The course provides students with the language and skills they need to become confident participants in their science lessons.

Unit 1: Life and earth sciences

In addition to key biology and earth sciences vocabulary, this unit also introduces time prepositions, affixes, and classroom language. This gives students the fundamentals for getting involved in their classes.

Unit 2: Physical sciences

In this unit, students explore the fields of chemistry and physics, develop their vocabulary, learn language for describing laboratory rules and procedures, and review conditionals for explaining the effects of different scientific laws.

Unit 3: The scientific method

Unit 3 tackles how we use science to find things out. Starting with laboratory procedures and instructions, students then learn language for planning and talking about experiments.

Unit 4: Forming a hypothesis

In Unit 4, students consider how to ask questions and make hypotheses. This includes writing specific, meaningful questions with different question words, using a range of conditionals to create a hypothesis, and using theories to make predictions.

Unit 5: Observations

Observing phenomena is at the heart of science classes and in this unit students develop language for doing just that. They cover language for describing senses, comparative forms, signal words, and more.

Unit 6: Analyzing and interpreting

Finally, Unit 6 deals with understanding scientific data. Students categorize types of data, practice describing graphs and charts, review the passive voice, and develop skills for writing their findings in well-organized and coherent reports.

Forthcoming releases

The Off2Class Science lessons give ELLs the skills and language they need to do well in their science classes. By providing students with the tools to understand science lessons, we’re opening up a world of opportunities in STEM and beyond.

For full details of our Science lessons and the rest of the Core Curriculum, as well as information regarding our other exciting lesson releases for this year, take a look at our release schedule.

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