Interdisciplinary Approach to Science in the Middle Grades

by Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo

Interdisciplinary Approach to Science in the Middle Grades

An interdisciplinary approach applies interdisciplinary methods and terms from various fields to examine a theme.

There are many benefits to this approach:

 • Teachers can meet curriculum standards in more than one area by combining unconnected objectives.
 • Students gain a deeper understanding of the topic.
  • Creative activities motivate students and make lessons more interesting.
 • Students are more prepared for the real world,  where disciplines often overlap.

Thinking About Science Series Features an Interdisciplinary Approach to Science

Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo’s Thinking about Science Series comprises four books for the middle grades. They have also been used successfully in high-ability classes, grades 4 and 5.

Homeschoolers at various levels have also used the units with positive results.

Each book focuses on a different major theme:

• The Human Body
 • Our Ever-Changing Earth
 • Our Solar System
 • Ecology

Students will…

• use research skills
• use factual information to solve problems
• write creatively
• gain a deeper understanding of the subject
• develop important higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.

Use these comprehensive units as the foundation of your study of these subjects or use them to supplement and enhance your lessons; however, many homeschoolers have used the resources as a major component of their science curriculum.

Format and How to Use the Books

Each book provides a comprehensive coverage of the subject.

Section One: Sub-topics
Each sub-topic is divided into two parts: Background Information and Interdisciplinary Activities, which comprise math, social studies, writing, and art tasks.

1. Students read the Background Information to get a broad overview of the subject.
2. The teacher may assign all or some of the activities.
3. Some of the tasks may be assigned as extra credit.
4. The background information and/or the activities may be used as a springboard for further research.

Section Two: What’s the Question Activity?

What’s the Question? is similar to the TV show “Jeopardy” in that the information is given in the form of the statement and the student responses are in the form of questions. The questions in Part I are worth 5 points each, and those in Part II are worth 10 points each.

This serves as a fun, but comprehensive review of the subject!

How the Game Is Played:

1. The class divides into teams of 4 or 5 students.
2. The teacher may act as leader, or you may want to choose a student leader.
3. The leader asks the first group a question from Part I. Whoever raises his or her hand first gets to answer.
4. If the student answers correctly, 5 points are added to the team total. If the student answers incorrectly, 5 points are deducted.
5. If no one wants to answer, the leader gives the correct answer and the total remains the same.
6. If a team does not give a correct answer, the same question is then asked to the next group. If no group gets it right, the leader gives the correct answer.
7. When all the questions from Part I have been completed, the same rules are followed for Part II except that the points are doubled.

Section Three: Crossword Puzzle
A crossword puzzle is provided. This can be used as an assessment tool or just for fun.

Section Four: Answers and Additional Background Information

Review

The Thinking About Science Series comprises four 48-page unit workbooks…They are complete unit studies but could also complement your main science program. These differ from other science books because they provide “opportunities to practice crucial critical- and creative-thinking skills,” through creative writing, experimenting, research, analyzing, evaluating, and logic. Each book has an introductory page about the specific science to be covered. Informational pages with straightforward text introduce important concepts and vocabulary with the help of clear black-and-white diagrams.…Short but info-packed sections are followed by across-the-curriculum ideas for using and applying what you learn, and this often requires outside research….While there are some standard activity pages (crossword, matching, word search, and a Jeopardy-type game), most are unconventional. Math, art, history, and writing are all used.
….
Students who are really into science, especially those who love research, would enjoy these books. So would those children who like art and creative, “out of the box” thinking. For example, one of the ideas in Our Ever-Changing Earth is to “Create a detailed travel poster for a tour of the U.S.A. including at least 5 interesting land formations caused by erosion or weathering.” »
….
This is a great series for [homeschooling] parents who are looking for “thinking projects” to expand their science studies as a family. It would also be a super-fun way to teach research skills.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC

Barbara Peller, AKA Rebecca Stark, Author of the Thinking About Science Series,
Published by Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo