Integrating Science and Reading Comprehension
Integrating interest-based science concepts has been key to the reading comprehension gains of my students. This is especially true for my Autistic students who have a preference for non-fiction reading material. Integrating science into reading comprehension not only engages students but also develops essential background knowledge and vocabulary needed for reading comprehension success. Language structure in science-focused texts is more straightforward making it perfect for supporting students in reading for information and developing verbal reasoning. I've witnessed students' confidence soar as they become experts in astronomy, life science, human body systems, nutrition, and more. I've noticed how students will readily engage with high-level texts on a scientific topic that is interesting to them supporting them in gaining reading comprehension skills more effortlessly. Neurodivergent students who find comfort in routine love the predictability of science unit studies. Their parents report they look forward to class sessions and share their learning with family members outside of class time.
We know that learning does not happen in isolation. Teaching science and reading comprehension together increases student gains in both topics faster and with less effort.