A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Writing in Science in Action

Strategies, Tools, and Classroom Video

Betsy Fulwiler, Seattle Public Schools
Foreword by Karen Worth

ISBN 978-0-325-04211-4 / 0-325-04211-X / 2011 / 192pp / BOOK WITH DVD
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: K - 5th
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“Kids love hands-on science.  Yet too few grow up to be scientists.    Kids
need to be reading, writing and thinking about science as well as doing it.
Writing in Science in Action propels us full throttle into both hands-on
and "minds on" science.  Rupp Fulwiler show us how to help kids wrap their
minds around science, do science and have a blast in the process.   If we
really want to prepare kids for an increasingly unpredictable future,  we
need teachers to read this book and share the practices  with the budding
young scientists in their rooms.”
—Stephanie Harvey, author of The Comprehension Toolkit

Writing in Science in Action, the highly anticipated follow-up resource to Betsy Rupp Fulwiler’s landmark book Writing in Science (Heinemann 2007), offers all new field-tested materials, including 10 video episodes that show teachers as they implement her approach in real classrooms with real children. The Writing in Science in Action DVD brings the content to life by providing clear and explicit models of students talking and writing, and teachers providing the scaffolding, modeling, and conferring needed to support those students.You’ll see teachers working in diverse settings with a range of learners, including ELLs, students with special needs, and reluctant writers. You’ll also see groups of teachers assessing student notebooks and planning instruction based on their assessments.

Focusing on science topics that are accessible and familiar, Fulwiler uses carefully interconnected video episodes, student work, and detailed classroom vignettes to take the reader into the complexity of individual classrooms and the practices of skilled teachers. Seeing her approach in action is a powerful teaching tool, and the DVD, used in combination with the practical text, takes Writing in Science to a whole new level. Seeing really is believing.

Writing in Science in Action provides clear guidance and structures for classroom practice, with:

* specific strategies that can be immediately used in any classroom
* step by step instruction on how to use each strategy
* ideas for planning, modeling, scaffolding, and assessment
* samples of over 100 student notebook entries with commentaries
* techniques for working with ELLs, emergent writers, and struggling students.

  • Overview
  • Modeling and Scaffolding
    (Video Episode:  Soils)
  • Scientific Illustrations, Data Tables, and Observations
    (Video Episode:  Plants)
  • Making and Writing Scientific Comparisons
    (Video Episode:  Ecosystems)
  • Scientific Investigations and Supporting Claims with Evidence
    (Video Episode:  Balls)
  • Predictions, Graphs, and Complex Conclusions
    (Video Episode:  Go-Carts)
  • Using Modeling and Scaffolding with English Language Learners
    (Video Episode:  Animals)
  • Meaningful Assessment and Effective Feedback
  • Group Critiquing and Teacher-Student Conferences
    (Assessment Video Episodes)
  • Planning Instruction:  Focus Questions and Meaningful Notebook Entries
  • Sample Minilessons
  • Emergent Writing
  • Frequently Asked Questions and Next Steps

In Depth





The samples and annotations in this section show and explain different aspects of this science-writing approach. They will help you see what students at different grade levels and different levels of language acquisition are able to write in science notebooks. The students who wrote these entries have a wide range of academic abilities, and include many students who are learning English and/or have special needs. The annotations note the strengths of the entries as well as ways in which students could improve their thinking and/or writing. The samples also show different types of meaningful notebook entries and, in some cases, specific suggestions for how to help students make more meaningful and/or more scientific entries.

The Units and Publishers
The following are the units and publishers that students whose entries are in this section have been studying. (FOSS is Full Option Science System and STC is Science and Technology for Children.)

Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade
Two by Two
Balls and Ramps (Insights) Balancing and Weighing
Plant Growth and Development
Circuits and Pathways (Insights) Land and Water (STC)
Fabric (FOSS) Organisms (STC) Liquids (Insights) Rocks and Minerals (STC) Ecosystems (STC) Microworlds (STC)
Wood and Paper (FOSS) Weather (STC) Solids and Liquids (STC) Sound (STC) Food Chemistry (STC) Models and Designs (FOSS)

Soils (STC) Water (FOSS)

Using Because and IThink This Because Scientific Observations, Illustrations, and Diagrams Scientific Comparisons Scientific Conclusions
Pre-kindergarten Samples
Grade K Grade K Grade K Grade K
Grade 1 Grade 1 Grade 1 Grade 1
Grade 2 Grade 2 Grade 2 Grade 2
Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3 Grade 3
Grade 4 Grade 4 Grade 4 Grade 4
Grade 5 Grade 5 Grade 5 Grade 5




Principals and teachers are always asking us how we make time for science and science writing when teaching literacy and mathematics skills tend to be the focus of elementary education. They also want to know how to teach science and science writing to students who are learning English and/or have special needs.

We asked a principal and four teachers to address those concerns in stories from their experiences. In the first story, a principal shares her perspective on the value of making time for inquiry-based science and science writing at Maple Elementary, a Blue Ribbon School in Seattle Public Schools.

Learning how to teach inquiry-based science and science writing is not simple, because what you are working to accomplish is not simple. The four teachers who share their stories all faced the same struggles. They were neither particularly knowledgeable about nor confident in teaching inquiry-based science or science writing. They were not sure they had time to teach everything they were told they had to teach. And they were not sure how they were going to support their students who were learning English and/or who had special needs.

Over the years, they have become teacher leaders and science coaches in the district's inquiry-based science and science-writing programs. In their stories, they share with you their experiences, their lessons learned, and their insights.


Label support materials
Label product support
Like many of the books published by Heinemann, this is an excellent resource for teachers. It contains strategies and tools to improve science student’s writing products. This volume includes a DVD which is essential to fully understand how to use the strategies suggested. In all DVD segments you see teachers demonstrating the technique in actual classroom situations.
I would highly recommend it for teachers individually. This book would be an excellent professional development tool also. It would be a great choice for a grade level book study group. I can see teachers in the same grade level in a school meet every two weeks to talk about another chapter of the book after trying the strategies with their students. This is a must–have volume.
--NSTA Recommends

Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Betsy Fulwiler directly about professional development support.

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