Policy Implications for Grades K-5:
Linking Content Area Learning and Literacy
The combination of interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and empirical findings
provide a research-based rationale for establishing the relevance of elementary
science instruction implemented through Science IDEAS as a form of in-depth, content-area
learning that develops student proficiency in reading comprehension and writing.
The papers in the related references (above) develop this idea in terms of curricular
policy implications for grades K-5. The emphasis of these papers is that (a) cumulative,
in-depth science instruction provides a much stronger learning environment for reading
comprehension than the sequence of disconnected stories common to basal reading
programs. Specifically, these papers argue for a significantly expanded role for
content-area learning in grades K-5 in terms of the instructional time typically
allocated in conjunction with a substantial reduction in the instructional time
allocated to reading comprehension instruction using basal reading programs.