VariQuest and Reading in the Science Classroom

KWL Chart

Reading and writing are an active part of any subject, but the transition from reading fiction in an English classroom to reading scientific journals and non-fiction can be difficult for some students. Learning how to write lab reports and papers can be tough too! Here are some ways you can utilize the VariQuest Poster Maker, Awards Maker and Cutout Maker to help smooth the transition.


Try modeling reading a scientific journal article with the class to help them understand how reading in the science classroom is different. Show and explain the purpose of an abstract. Read it together and afterwards, fill out the K (what I know) and W (what I want to know) part of a K-W-L chart poster together as a class. This can help the students set a foundation allowing them check their comprehension before they delve further into the article.

Show the students how to utilize graphs and other tables in the article by enlarging these into a poster. This is an easy task when you take advantage of the scan and print feature on the Poster Maker. You can model how you would stop reading to turn to the visual for additional information. Ask the students to come up to the poster and show the class where what they’ve read is shown on the table, chart or graph. This way, they’ll begin to understand that reading science related news is often more than simply reading text and can take more time.

Finally, use the Cutout Maker or Awards Maker to create large versions of new vocabulary. While reading, stop when you come across a new word. Attach each word to your white board as it is identified in the text. This will help indicate how they would want to write these words down and look them up as they are reading. Give the students dictionaries to look each word up as you run across them and write the definition on your board. You may even want to take a moment to check their comprehension of the definition. Learning the vocabulary immediately, rather than skipping over words they don’t know, is an important skill that will help them throughout their educational career. There is ample opportunity to teach students new words and this skill within science related reading. After the demonstration, you can post the cutout words to a word wall in your classroom and even create lessons out of the uncovered vocabulary.

In addition to vocabulary words, they may encounter unfamiliar symbols. Use the Cutout Maker to decorate a bulletin board to promote their visual vocabulary too! For example, they may not understand the symbols on a weather map, chemical structure diagrams, international symbols of units, etc. You can find many science-related shapes in the Cutout Maker’s library to help create visuals for your classroom!

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