29th September 2000 at 01:00
DEVELOPING LITERACY SKILLS THROUGH SCIENCE SERIES. KSI (Y1-2). KS2 (Y3-4). KS2 (Y5-6). By Frances Mackay, Penny Vernon and Linda Cork. Hopscotch Educational Publishing pound;15.99 each

This series complements the needs of the national literacy strategy and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority science scheme of work.

Many ideas for teaching aspects of literacy are linked to a wide range of science contexts. Each chapter focuses on a different area of science and literacy and is presented in a clear format, closely matching the needs of the literacy hour, non-fiction reading and writing.

Many teachers will find this series helpful - there are clear objectives for each chapter, photocopiable texts for the class to explore, and follow-up activities split into three levels of difficulty. These books provide a clearly structured guide for teaching non-fiction reading and writing, with a layout which ensues that each section is easy to use.

Although there are teachers who will welcome the opportunity of teaching literacy through a science context, there will be others who wince at the idea. Fortunately, these materials contain numerous suggestions for practical work in science, so that the literacy activities are very much intended to support non-fiction reading and writing, and not a substitute for investigative work in science.

There are many good ideas which teachers can dip into in any order they choose. Topics covered include: using an index; using a chart; newspaper reports; sequencing events.

Although similar materials have already been produced by the Association for Science Education and Nuffield, these new books will make a useful addition to the range of materials which teachers can draw on.

Pam Wadsworth is a senior lecturer in education at the University of North London.

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