A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Writing in Science

How to Scaffold Instruction to Support Learning

Betsy Fulwiler, Seattle Public Schools
Foreword by Wendy Saul

ISBN 978-0-325-01070-0 / 0-325-01070-6 / 2007 / 224pp / Paperback
Imprint: Heinemann
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: K - 5th
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The author and the Seattle Science Notebook Program have outlined the strategies of using science notebooks with a diverse population of students and documented their effectiveness. The thoughtful approach, well explained in the book, keeps the goals of inquiry-based science and writing clearly focused and mutually supportive.

—Harold Pratt

Former President, National Science Teachers Association


This book does more than make a case for science notebooks. It provides specific teaching guidelines, strategies, activities, and rich examples of student work that teachers can use to craft their own notebook program.

—Karen Worth

Author of Worms, Shadows, and Whirlpools


In the science classroom writing is much more than an exercise for students to document their steps during an investigation. It’s an important vehicle for describing their thought processes and the evidence that supports their reasoning. Writing in Science shows you how to encourage students to grow as scientists and writers by moving beyond recounting how they completed their work and toward explaining what they learned.


Writing in Science shares proven methods for supporting improvement in how students write and think about science. It provides practical guidelines for using science notebooks in grades K–5 to teach and assess science writing in a way that develops students’ conceptual knowledge and expository writing abilities as well as their thinking and scientific skills. Betsy Rupp Fulwiler shares strategies for scaffolding and modeling higher-level forms of scientific writing such as:

  • observations
  • cause and effect
  • comparisons
  • data analysis
  • conclusions.


Fulwiler packs Writing in Science with numerous illustrations and tools to get you started, including:

  • more than 50 entries from science notebooks, annotated with remarks about instruction and formative assessment
  • scientific writing from English language learners and special-needs students
  • examples and focus questions that apply to 18 popular units from the widely used STC, FOSS, and Insights kits
  • 17 blackline masters of graphic organizers and writing frameworks
  • specific assessment protocols and guidelines to help you analyze notebook entries and provide constructive, formative feedback to students
  • planning guidelines that explain how to develop writing curricula for science units.

Best of all, Fulwiler’s methods are not only backed by research but have also been successfully implemented in the Seattle Public Schools.


Help students develop their scientific thinking in an incredibly effective way: by writing. Push them away from detailing procedures and into writing that helps them grow as writers, scientific thinkers, and learners. And do it all while meeting inquiry-based science goals and supporting writing instruction across the content areas. Read Writing in Science—you’ll discover that pencil and paper are among the most important materials in any scientific experiment.

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