A multi-ethnic group of elementary age students are huddled around their teacher listening to the story.

Twig Science December 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the Twig Science monthly newsletter! This month, we’re capturing the power of storytelling in our three-dimensional classrooms and encouraging students to tell the story of scientific phenomena. Listen carefully, and you’ll hear your students narrate how young plants transform over the course of their lives or how substances change as they move through the phases of matter. These are the stories of student-centered classrooms, where kids burst with excitement as they seek interested listeners.

Listen closely. We have stories to tell!

Wiley Blevins on the Gift of Storytelling

In September, we sat down with Twig Science contributor, acclaimed author, and reading specialist Wiley Blevins to discuss literacy and storytelling. He shares his personal story of growing up in Appalachia with an illiterate grandmother and how that experience shaped his outlook on instruction. 

Enjoy listening to Wiley’s story here: Twig Education On… The Gift of Reading

Science and Storytelling 

For millennia, cultures from around the globe have used storytelling to make sense of the world. Myths, legends, and fables all tell stories, giving explanations for why things are the way they are. Twig Science builds a storyline into the beginning of every module, using module phenomena as a way into exploring things that happen around us. This connection not only engages students but also frames the learning experience throughout the module. 

The following article outlines the neuroscience behind successful storytelling and gives tips on how to embed meaningful stories into your classroom.

The Cognitive Scientist—”The Privileged Status of Story”

We’d love to hear your experiences of using storytelling on our Twig Teachers Facebook page!

Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Jane Goodall

“Storytelling for me…that’s been my way of waking people up and reaching into their hearts.”

Anthropologist, conservationist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, and UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall is a world-renowned ethologist and activist inspiring greater understanding and action on behalf of the natural world every single day.

At the following link, Jane shares her thoughts on the power of storytelling.

Video link: Dr. Jane Goodall on Why Storytelling is Important in Science

Did You Know?: Using Google Slides

Each month, we’ll feature a resource on the Digital Dashboard that will help you facilitate student-centered learning experiences. This month, Google Slide decks are on display! These decks are customizable, and are waiting for you to tell the story of a new phenomenon. Watch this brief video to learn more.

Video link: Did you know?

Getting to Know 3-D Science: What Are Crosscutting Concepts?

Looking for help unpacking the three dimensions of the NGSS? Look no further! We’ll begin by taking an introductory glance at Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), the conceptual frameworks which students use to tell the story of scientific phenomena. Patterns, for example, are a frequently utilized CCC that highlight predictable stories with a clear beginning and end. Check out this video for more on CCCs and how they are embedded into the NGSS.

Video link: What Are Crosscutting Concepts?

Tips and Tricks: Leveled Readers

Here are the latest tips and tricks from the Twig Science Professional Learning Team. In this video, we’ll show you how to use Leveled Readers to engage students in a storytelling experience, following a variety of scientists through their day-to-day adventures.

Video link: Incorporating storytelling into lessons—Leveled Readers, Chapter 2

User Highlights: Word Walls

Word walls help students tell the story of their learning. Whether students incorporate academic vocabulary into their writing or refer to the word wall while strengthening an argument, word walls are critical to the development of a clear and concise story. Let’s explore some Twig Science word walls from around the country that you can use in your classroom.

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