20 STEM Literacy Strategies for Grades 4-8


Suhua Huang
Midwestern State University, College of Education Wichita Falls, Wichita Falls, Texas

Denise Simmons
West College of Education, Midwestern State University

Cheryl Wilson
Wichita Falls ISD Teacher, Wichita Falls, Texas

Tommye Hutson
Western Governors University

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU029030

As humanity progresses into the 21st century, the needs of the future can sometimes be uncertain. There is one thing that is certain: we will still need Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Students who have a solid and integrated understanding of STEM fields are more likely to contribute to a world economy. Also, their creativity and ingenuity are needed to improve quality of life from local to global standards. This book uses literacy to develop effective and versatile cross curricula STEM activities.

Twenty strategies are included, covering mathematics, science, engineering, technology, reading, and writing as well as English and social studies. Each strategy includes learning objectives, assessments and uses playful and innovative methods to engage students in working with STEM subjects. Students will explore, invent, build, problem solve and be actively engaged in the learning process. These STEM strategies provide a wide range of options that will inspire teachers to further develop effective and engaging lessons.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. What’s in Soil

Chapter 2. Soil Profile

Chapter 3. The Story of Freddie the Fish

Chapter 4. Making a Core Sample Cake

Chapter 5. Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Chapter 6. Water Filtration

Chapter 7. A Model of Groundwater Pollution

Chapter 8. Moving Windmills

Chapter 9. Animal Stickers

Chapter 10. Community Project

Chapter 11. A Case of Haredity (Heredity)

Chapter 12. Electrical Circuits

Chapter 13. Make Your Own Lightbulb

Chapter 14. Circuit Game

Chapter 15. Building a Kaleidoscope

Chapter 16. Life in a Bottle

Chapter 17. Using Sunlight-Sensitive Beads

Chapter 18. Modeling Astronomical Distance

Chapter 19. Constructing Winogradsky Columns

Chapter 20. Tetrahedron Kite



Introduction American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2007).  Atlas of science literacy (Vol. 2).  Washington, DC: Author. <br>American College Testing (2011). The condition of college and career readiness 2011 . Retrieved from http://www.act.org/research/ policymakers/cccr11/. Brown, R., Brown, J., Peardon, K., & Merrill, C. (2011). Understanding STEM: Current perceptions.  Technology and Engineering Teacher , 70(6), 5-9.  Chiu, A., Price, A., & Overhi, E. (2015, April).  Supporting elementary and middle school STEM education at the whole-school level: A review of the literature . Paper presented at The National Association for Research in Science Teaching International Conference (NARST), 2015 Annual Conference, April 11-14, 2015, Chicago, IL.  Collin, R. (2014). A Bernsteinian analysis of content area literacy.  Journal of Literacy Research, 64,  306-239. Doi: 10.1177/08629X14552178. DeJarnette, N. K. (2012). America’s children: Providing early exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives.  Education 133 (1), 77-84. Fullan, M. (2006). Change theory: A force for school improvement  (Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Series Paper No. 157). Retrieved from http://www.michaelfullan.ca/Articles_06/06_ change_theory.pdf. Hansen, M. (2013). Characteristics of schools successful in STEM: Evidence from two states’ longitudinal data. Calder,  Working Paper 97, 1-43. Johnson, C. C. (2012). Implementation of STEM education policy: Challenges, progress, and lessons learned. School Science and Mathematics, 112 , 45-55.  Kelley, T. R., & Knowles, J. G. (2016). A conceptual framework for integrated STEM education. International Journal of STEM Education , 3-11. DOI 10.1186/s40594-016-0046-z. Kelly, B. (2012, September). Stem: What it is, and why we should care. U.S. News and World Report.  Retrieved from http://<br>money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/. National Academy of Engineering. (2008). Changing the conversation: Methods for improving public understanding of engineering. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.<br>National Education Association (2002). Preparing 21st century students for a global society. Retrieved from www. nea.org/assets/docs/A-Guide-to Four-Cs.pdf. National Research Council. (2011). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. <br>National Science Board. (2010). Science & engineering indicators 2010. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. <br>OCED (2012). PISA 2012 results: What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results-overview.pdf. OCED. (2016). PISA 2016 results: Performance of U.S. 15-year-old students in science, reading, and mathematic literacy in an international context. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/pisa/<br>pisa-2015-results-in-focus.pdf. Russell, S. H., Hancock, M. P., & McCullough, J. (2007). Benefits of undergraduate research experiences. Science 316 p. 548-549. <br>Skamp. K. (2007). Conceptual learning in the primary and middle years: The interplay of heads, hearts, and hands-on science.  Teaching Science, 53 (3), 18-22. Section 1 Bryant, D. P., Goodwin, M., Bryant, B. R., & Higgins, K. (2003). Vocabulary instruction for students with learning disabilities: A review of the research. Learning Disability Quarterly, 26 , 117-128. Giles, R. M., & Kinniburgh, L. (2013). Common Core State Standards and text complexity: An invitation to learn language in STEM disciplines using a range of quality literature.  E-Journal of Balanced Reading Instruction, 1 , 31-35.<br>Kamkwamba, W., & Mealer, B. (2012).  The boy who harnessed the wind . New York: Harper Collins. Raby, E. (2015). STEM  and children’s literature: 3 classroom resources. Retrieve from https://www.nwea.org/blog/2015/stem-and-childrens-literature-3-classroom-resources. Skehan, D. (2016, December 1). Exploring Malawi/part one [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6SO60PfptA. Skehan, D. (2016, December 1). Exploring Malawi/part two [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjhW-i57xLM. Chapter 1 The United State Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Soil components.  Retrieved July 20, 2017 from https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/ portal/nrcs/detail/mt/water/?cid=nrcs144p2_057473. Chapter 2 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  A soil profile. Retrieved July 20, 2017 from https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/edu/?cid=nrcs142p2_054308<br>Discovery Education . The dirt on soil. Retrieved July 20, 2017 from http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schooladventures/soil/down_dirty.html. Chapter 3  Texas the State of Water (2017). The story of Freddie the fish . Retrieved July 21, 2017 from www.texasthestateofwater.org/screening/ pdf_docs/FreddieTheFish.pdf. Chapter 4 Drilling, M. (2016, May 25).  Quest for oil game  2.0 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.maerskdrilling.com/en/jobs-and-careers/quest-for-oil.<br>Nottingham Science (2008, February 14).  Core Sample-60 Seconds of Science [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/<br>watch?v=8C25QPvoCf8.<br>The United States Department of Labor (USDL). Oil and gas well drilling and servicing eTool Retrieved July 21, 2017 from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/<br>oilandgas/illustrated_glossary.html.<br><p><b>Chapter 5 Seeker (2016, November 2).  Hard vs Soft water: What’s the differences

Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2bqc5kBKed4. Chapter 6  It’s okay to be smart (2017, March 28).  How much plastic is in the ocean  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/<br>watch?v=YFZS3Vh4lfI.<br>Knepper, E. (2013, March 22).  The municipal water treatment process  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/<br>watch?v=89I9e4f381Q.<br>Metro Vancouver (2013, September 9). Understanding wastewater treatment process  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBEYUxI3DuQUnited States of Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Drinking water & ground waterkid’s stuff . Retrieved July 21, 2017 from https://www3.epa.gov/safewater/kids/gamesandactivies.html. Chapter 8 Lakeshore (2015).  Windmill Design STEM Learning Lab teacher’s guide. Carson, CA: Author. Available for purchase at lakeshorelearning.com Chapter 9 Workman (2016). Paint by Stickers . New York: Workman Publishing Co, Inc.<br>Zimbasafaris (2012, October 28). Malawi-Impressie wildlife safari

. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?<br>v=vewAFZI-3kI. Chapter 10 Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) (2015, Aguest 10).  Community forest conservation in Malaw i[Video file].Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKTLk0KrwSQ.<br>Earthship Biotecture (2013, Febrary 13).  Malawi, Africa Earthship Community Center  [Vidoe file]. Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dKEuFCOhPA Section 2 Moore, D. W., Moore, S. A., Cunningham, P. M., & Cunningham, J. W. (2011).  Developing readers and writers in the content areas K-12. Boston: Alley & Bacon.<br>Morrow, L. M. (2014). Literacy development in the early years: helping children read and write  (8th ed). New York: Pearson. <br>Tyler-Wood, T., Knezek, G., & Christensen, R. (2010). Instruments for assessing interest in STEM content and career.  Journal of Technology and Teacher Education,18(2), 341-363. <br>Vacca, R. T., Vacca, J. L., & Marz, M. (2014). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum (11th ed). Boston: Pearson.<br>Wolsey, T. D., & Lapp, D. (2017).  Literacy in the disciplines: A teacher’s guide for grades 5-12. New York: The Guilford Press.  Chapter 12 Allain, R. (2011, July 13).  Light bulb, battery, and two wires  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=s6XP6pAH<br>jvM. Chapter 18 University of Maine at Presque Isle (2017). The Main Solar System Model . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from http://pages.umpi.edu/<br>nmms/solar/.<br>To Scale (2015, September 16).  To scale: the solar system  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR3Igc3Rhfg. Chapter 19 University of Delaware (2017).  The world wide winogradsky project . Retried July 22, 2017 from http://sites.udel.edu/winogradsky/about/ Chapter 20 SparkFun Electronics. (n.d.)  LilyPad audino development board. Retrieved from https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/choosing-a-lilypad-arduino-for-your-project.

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