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Science and Information Literacy

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Lessons Incorporating Information Literacy and Science


Standards: I. History and Nature of Science



Overview: Students have to research the best ecosystem for the Tyrannosaurus rex and decide - a desert dream house, riverside residence, or tundra townhome. They then have to draw a picture of the dinosaur in his new home or look at maps and identify places in which a Tyrannosaurus could live.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: ARTIFACTS IN CONTEXT (grades 3-5)

Overview: Students use some online resources to read about and analyze images of artifacts from Catalhoyuk to determine what we can learn from artifacts of ancient cities and how archaeologists do the work they do.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: WHAT IS A SPECIES? (grades 9-12)

Overview: Adapted from "Species: An Evolving Concept." Students will recognize that scientists use different definitions of species, be able to assess the strengths and limitations of species definitions depending on their context, use definitions of species to enhance their understanding of speciation, and understand the concept of taxonomy and biodiversity inventories.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: EXPLORING HUMAN HISTORY (grades 9-12)

Overview: Students will learn that anthropology is divided into four main subdivisions: archeology, linguistics, cultural, and physical. They will explore the fieldwork of several contemporary anthropologists to compare their methods and applications. In the process of scientific inquiry, students will explain how they reach their own conclusions and be able to listen with an open mind to how others reached theirs.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Standards: II. Physical Science



Overview: Students are given information about temperature and molecules and then the class does the food color experiment. Put food coloring in hot water and cold water to show how fast and slow the water moves the food coloring around. Have students write up or draw their observations.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy



Overview: Students will work independently and in small groups to research assigned elements on the internet with sites given in advance. They will then contribute to a class database with their individual information. The database will then be made available for students to again work independently and in pairs to answer questions created from a class discussion to discover relationships about the elements.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: CARBON: STRUCTURE MATTERS (grades 9-12)

Overview: Students will explore the molecular structure of matter and how it can affect the physical characteristics of specific material. By using online resources, students will view and compare the similarities and differences of graphite and diamond, fullerene and buckeyball molecules, and lonsdaleite. Students will also create pyramids and cubes out of straws.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Standards: III. Earth and Space Science


Lesson: EROSION (grades K-3)

Overview: Students will discuss different types of erosion after the teacher has some activities showing erosion to the class, like taking a pile of sand and blowing it to discuss what happens to the sand when you blow on it and whether or not you could move the whole pile if you blew on it long enough and then comparing that to a much larger scale sand erosion.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: WEATHER MAPS (grades 3-5)

Overview: Students use different online sources to find out more about the weather and then in groups create one of the following weather maps: satellite, radar, precipitation, temperature, wind speed, and front.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: ORIGINS: EARTH IS BORN (grades 5-12)

Overview: Students will collect and identify micrometeorites from space. After creating a filter, teams of students will work together to collect particulate matter over a designated period of time. Then they will prepare slides with the matter and learn how to identify sky dust using a variety of pictures from online resources. Students will prepare one-page summaries about the origins, similarities, and differences of asteroids and meteorites.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Lesson: HOW MUCH IS AN ECOSYSTEM WORTH? (grades 7-12)

Overview: Students will explain the economic importance of ecosystems, define and give examples of ecosystem services, research and analyze environmental data, and suggest specific actions that would protect ecosystem services.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy


Standards: IV. Life Science


Lesson: ANIMAL DIVERSITY (grades K-2)

Overview: Using an online tutorial, students observe different plants and animals to learn about their environment and answer questions, like what they eat, how certain animals and plants are different, etc.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy, Technology Use


Lesson: CICADA INVASION (grades 3-5)

Overview: Students will learn about how some animals have very different life cycles by analyzing the cicada. They will use an online interactive website to answer some questions and have a discussion in class.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy, Technology Use



Overview: Students will draw a diagram of a food chain, label maps to show progress on environmental issues, and understand problems related to biomagnification in the Great Lakes and other ecosystems.

Standards: Research Process, Reading/Media Literacy, Responsible Use


Lesson: MAPPING THE BRAIN (grades 9-12)

Objective: Students will develop meaningful icons to represent the different functions of different parts of the brain and use these icons to label maps of the brain. Students will be able to identify various parts/structures/functions of the brain in 2D and 3D, connect the fuctions of the brain to activities in daily life, and create icons to represent complicated ideas.

Standards: Research Process, Technology Use, Reading/Media Literacy



Additional Science and Information Literacy Resources - search these to find more lesson plans (grades K-12)


American Institute of Biological Sciences Lesson Plans

Provides original, peer-edited lessons written by science educators to specifically accompany peer-reviewed articles on the site. Each lessons contains questions related to the article as well as a variety of student activities that promote active learning and inquiry into current issues. The site is endorsed by the National Association of Biology Teachers.


The Gateway to 21st Century Skills

The best way to find materials is to just use the search bar and search for a topic. Your results will state what type of material it is - collection, lesson plan, activity, etc. - and what grade level it is appropriate for.


New York Times Science Lesson Plans

Use the Search This Blog search box on the right to search through the different lesson plans available. You can also click on the other lesson plans by category to search other categories because many lesson plans are multidisciplinary.



Choose a grade level and then look through the available lesson plans. All areas of science included.


PUMAS (Practical Uses of Math and Science)

A collection of one-page examples (written primarily by scientists and engineers) of how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes can be used in interesting settings, including everyday life.


Science Netlinks

Multiple lesson plans from all different areas. Many include handouts or other supporting materials.


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