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Science Literacy: Begin with Human Nature, Extend with Relationships

by Karen Gallas
November/December 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/science-literacy-begin-with-human-nature-extend-with-relationships/5019050/

Have you ever been in a sunny field
when the dragon flies buzzzzzz
and the grass turns green?

Have you seen the lake that runs
into a small quiet stream
with fish and trees that sparkle in the sun

and the rabbits jump
and run free. . . .
But it's all in me.
David, age 6

One Saturday, in the spring of his second grade year, David and his family drove from their city neighborhood to 'the country' where they spent the day. David returned to school on Monday, excited, but deeply thoughtful. He briefly told me about their excursion, and then said that he wanted to write about it in his science journal. The poem that opens this article was the result.

David's poem quickly drives to the center of what I want to say about science literacy, science teaching, and science inquiry. It is a straightforward point, simply and immediately achieved: All children come to school with a desire to understand and be moved by their world. Begin with that desire; study it; extend it: Latia, a homeless child who moves from shelter to shelter, wonders about the changing colors of the oil spills she sees on city streets.

Massa, a ...

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