Engaging in critical literacy challenges the current status quo by questioning or juxtaposing contrasting viewpoints to uncover the way texts arrange individuals as global citizens due to the embedded power, biases, and politically motivated ideologies. It is important that social studies educators afford children opportunities to critically read texts. Below are some examples of how fourth graders critically read history.
Students used a mentor artist, Jacob Lawrence, to retell the Great Migration. They critically analyzed language used in textbooks and considered the implications language has on individuals' perceptions of history.
Check out how one of our North Star of Texas Writing Project TCs, Molly Adams, uses the novel The Great Gatsby to incorporate science into her classroom.
Juanita Ramirez-Robertson, one of our North Star of Texas Writing Project TCs, integrated circuitry into writer's workshop to light up Dichos.
Whitney Lawrence's fourth graders created visual summaries to represent soil horizons.
Quick Write Prompts for Science 1. If someone invented a matter-transmitter (like the transporter room in Star Trek), what kind of changes do you think you would see in the world? 2. What do you think the “edge of space” looks like? 3. If you could go back in time to any period and place in history, when and where would you go and why? 4.If you invented or discovered a new element and could call it anything you wanted, what would you name it? 5. Describe what a polymer is and give at least 2 uses for polymers. 6. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. What do you think is the reason for this? 7. What do you think is the single most important discovery in the world of science and why? 8. Name at least 2 uses for the polymer used in yesterday’s lab. 9. What invention or discovery would you like to be known for? 10. Describe (in detail) your favorite solution. 11. What is the ONE thing YOU can do that would have the biggest impact on reducing pollution (air, water, etc.)? 12. If you could send a message out to space, what message would it be or what kind of message would it be? 13. If you were stuck on an island, what solution would you want a lot of and WHY? 14. Why do you think we need to germinate our seeds first? 15. If you were a farmer and could grow any ONE crop, what would it be and WHY? 16. What is the most interesting thing you learned during the CHEMISTRY unit we just finished? 17. Describe the relationship between wavelength and frequency. 18. How is the electromagnetic spectrum similar to the periodic table? 19. Telescopes are sometimes referred to as “time machines”. What do you think the reason is for this? 20. Do you think it is possible for there to be something that takes up NEGATIVE SPACE? Explain your answer! 21. Explain how sound waves are different from electromagnetic waves. Without using your notes, list as many differences as you can think of. 22. What is your favorite SOUND? 23. What would you like to read in tomorrow’s headlines?
Quick Write Prompts for Math 1. What might cause a fluctuation in the price of stocks on the stock market? 2. Why did you learn “+, – , x ,÷” for so long when what you really need is complex math skills? 3. Describe a practical career use for measuring an object’s surface area other than by a gift wrapper. 4. Describe how knowing the average amount of food eaten by males and females can help in having food prepared at a fast- food restaurant. 5. Which is easier to visualize (see a mental picture of), ratio or percentage? Explain. 6. Describe one similarity and one difference between ratio and percentage. 7. Which is easier to use, percentage or ratio? Why? 8. What are some questions consumers should ask about a commercial stating: “Four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum”? 9. Which would be better to use in planning purchasing of food for use in a restaurant, ratio or percentage? 10. Describe with examples the connection between “is/to” and “part of the whole.” 11. What would the correct layout be for a problem, such as “RCA- TV, reg. price $299.00, now 20% off”? 12. Describe the differences between these problems: 1/4 X 3/12 and 1/4 = 3/12. 13. Describe one real-life use for what you have learned over the past 2 weeks. 14. What are the relationships among radius, chord, diameter, and circumference? 15. Explain how pi ( π ) is used in geometry and describe one fact about it. 16. How would you go about finding the area of a circle? 17. What is the difference between graphing on a number line using an open dot and on a closed dot? 18. How does addition and subtraction of positive and negative numbers in algebra differ addition and subtraction of positive and negative numbers in arithmetic? 19. What is the easiest way to determine whether a problem solution (in multiplication) will be a positive or negative? 20. Describe an algebraic technique for adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers.
The list of quick write prompts for Science and Math is from the Write Now study conducted by Jo Cleland, Peter Rillero, and Ron Zambo.