Why learn about Alexander Grahahm Bell? New science TEKS are coming to Texas! One change is that students will learn about specific scientists in various fields. Another change is that the STARR tests will pull from science and social studies topics for reading passages. This is a good change because so much of our reading comprehension depends on our background knowledge of a topic. What isn’t great is that some of these topics will be taught starting in kindergarten, and kindergarteners will not be ready to absorb the necessary knowledge. As a result, we will have to continue going back and reteaching what students have already learned.
One of the scientists students will learn about in second grade is Alexander Graham Bell. He is most well known for inventing the telephone. Alexander was also very interested in helping deaf people. His father worked in deaf education, and his mother went deaf. Alexander also married a deaf woman named Mabel Gardiner Hubbard.
The new science TEKS also has second graders learning about sound energy. This would be a fantastic unit to introduce Alexander Graham Bell. He was a man obsessed with sound energy!
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN READING AND WRITING IN LEARNING
Reading and writing are two ways we work to understand information. To ensure that your students understand and remember what they learn about Jane Goodall, you will have them read and write about her. There are many writing structures you can use in your classroom. I have created an “adding details” system to help students write more interesting sentences.
Here is how it works:
- There are three to four videos on the subject. Students do not need to watch all of the videos. I like to show my favorite video to the entire class and then share the presentation with students so that they can choose which other videos they want to watch. Watching the videos aims to build up the students’ background knowledge on a subject. They get familiar with the relevant vocabulary and start making connections. This helps them understand what they read.
- Students read the paragraph on the subject. They may have to read it a couple of times to understand it.
- Students complete the details chart (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to organize their learning from the reading passage. There will be multiple ways to complete the chart correctly.
- Students use the charts to write three questions about the subject (and the answers) on the back of the reading passage. Later, you can turn one of the questions into a writing prompt for the students.
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL PRESENTATION AND PASSAGE
Click on the picture below to access the Alexander Graham Bell presentation.
MORE BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE
Background knowledge is so important for helping our students and children be successful. Reading books is a great way to build background knowledge. Watching videos can build background knowledge too! I have lots of blog posts that build background knowledge! Check out some below!