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if the animal is endangered, and other interesting facts. Students can write their research in a writing journal or on sticky notes. After students have collected information about their

animal, they create an Animal Fact File Card. On the blank side of each index card, students write their name, the ani- mal’s name and draw a picture of the animal. On the lined side of the card, students organize and write the information they learned about their animal. Each card is filed in the Animal Fact File box under the animal’s classification. For example, a bald eagle would be put under the Birds section. Provide students with an opportunity to share their research at the end of class.

Science Reader’s Theater Work Station

With a focus on developing strong verbal fluency in the younger grades, there has been a renewed spotlight on performing plays during reading time. “Reader’s theater” involves reading a play aloud and taking on the roles of the characters. Today, there are hundreds of reader’s theater plays focused on science topics, such as animals, weather, the earth and habitats. In addition to prewritten plays, stu- dents can also write their own reader’s theater play about a current topic of study.

Set-up: In this work station, find a place in your classroom to set up a stage area. The front of the classroom, carpet area, or library area usually have plenty of space for students

to move around in. At the station, provide students with multiple copies of the reader’s theater script and a selection of necessary props to help them act out their parts.

Procedure: Assign each student a role or allow students to choose the roles on their own. Students rehearse the play multiple times. They can change characters or move around the stage in different ways each time. After students have practiced the play, they can perform it for their classmates. With limited teaching time during the school day, small

group reading instruction provides an opportunity to inte- grate science skills into independent work stations. Students gain additional time to practice key science skills, making them stronger scientists in the areas of measurement, obser- vation, research, and data collection. The possibilities for science work stations are endless.With innovative think- ing and teacher collaboration, any science objective can be incorporated into a successful science work station.

Natalie Stern is a second grade teacher who currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She loves finding new ways to work science into her students’ daily learning, including raising crickets, growing plants, and encouraging her students' daily exploration of the outside world.


Diller, Debbie. Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse, 2003.

Fountas, Irene C and Pinnell, Gay Su. Guiding Readers and Writers. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 2001.

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