Speaking, Reading, Writing Science

Authors : Nadine Sire(plus d'infos)
Summary :
Two days during which the course participants are encouraged to build scientific sequences, consider the characteristics of the scientific notebook, and watch videos in order to analyse activities realized in the classroom .
Publication : 12 September 2012
Note :
No votes yet

Day 1  

  • Introduction

We will work for two days on "speaking, reading, writing in science" and for that, we will put you in a position to "speak, read, write sciences".  What are your practices?

We chose to work on matter. What do you do in this area?

  • Contextualizing Situations (1 h 45) :


Changes of state


You will make a freezing mixture with ice and coarse salt in equal quantity. Fill the bottom of a plastic bottle. Place a test tube containing water in this mixture. Use two thermometers to measure the temperature of each element of the device and note any changes.

Here is a floating cap in a basin filled  with water. What will happen if I put a capped bottle with the bottom cut off above the cap and if I push it into the water?
Each notes his ideas, you can write it down, draw or schematise it. 

(5 minutes)

Form groups of 5. Share your ideas and make a poster showing your schematic representations.
In each group, carry out experiments to test your ideas.
Record and interpret your results.

  • Change activity  (45 minutes)
  • Comparison of the results and their interpretation (15 minutes)
  • The investigative approach (20 minutes)

What are the steps that you followed in the two situations (of the process of investigation)?
Distribution of a schematic representation of the process of investigation and discussion.

  • In the classroom (40 minutes)
  • Individual activity: (20 minutes)

Identify in the photocopied materials (curricula) the notions that have been discussed.                                              
Outline in particular notional contents, methodological content, language competencies.

  • Pooling and sharing, in order to reach a consensus on the notions and contents discussed (neatly define the notions). (20 minutes)
  • Observation of an activity realized in the classroom: illustration of the existence of the air (documents accompanying the curricula) (20 minutes)

The pre-requisite notions           

The issues implied in the activity

The protocols developed by the students
The scientific notebook: its role, its different spaces…

  • Discussion on the activity (20 minutes)
  • Development of an activity about matter (1h 30m)

In groups, develop a sequence of activities about matter. For each activity, expand one or two sessions that seem especially important to you (it is often the case that the initial situation and a situation bringing on the key concept are chosen).

  • Other possible activities, sharing resources

Which activities can you envisage based on this example? What are the activities that you carry out in the classroom, about matter and in an experimental way?

  • Dirty water / clean water
  • Mixtures and solutions


Day 2

  • Introduction

Yesterday we did a lot of hands-on activities, today we will further examine what we tried to develop in relationship with language.

  • Contextualizing situation (10 minutes)

What is writing in the domain of science?
Write down what you think ... Think about different forms of writing, but also about the motivations of these writings ... For whom do we write?  Why do we write?

  • Pooling and sharing (20 minutes or more)

Share thoughts, then discuss in the light of the accompanying documents.

  • Different moments when language is used in a science activity (1 h 30)

Watch the same video as on the previous day:  illustration of the existence of the air (documents accompanying the curricula); search how language competences are implemented throughout the activity.  Complete the table. 
While viewing the video, identify the different moments and look for the contexts of utterance, the linguistic forms adopted.



Context of utterance


Familiarization with the problem

Moment when the desire to know, one's words are expressed


Hypotheses or representations




Drawings, text...

Exchange of words


Comparison of “what we think” with undeniable reality!


Language of action

Intermediate writings (Scientific notebook)

Written records


Language of evocation: dictation to adults 

Collective writings 

Formalized writings


Polling and sharing: establish a table, as before.

  • Example: Scientific notebooks (1 h)

Observe some scientific notebooks (photocopies) and look for all that has been discussed about writing during these two days. Work in two or three groups.
Pooling and sharing.

  • Science and literature

Three texts:

  • Toujours rien (Editions du Rouergue)
  • Jacques et le haricot magique
  • Combien de temps dure un instant ?, (autor: Delphine Guéchot)

What are the notions that are related to science in these three texts?
Which ones are real? 
Ideas of writing, of activities in sciences...

  • Development of sequences of activities

Annex 1

What is writing in science? 
Write down what you think...

Think about the different forms of writing, but also the motivations of these writings...

For whom do we write?  Why do we write?

Different moments when language is used in a science activity and  linguistic competences:



Context of utterance


Familiarization with the problem



Hypotheses or representations






Written records



Annex 2

Literature and science



Jacques et le haricot magique

Toujours rien

Combien de temps dure un instant ?

Scientific concepts




Degree of veracity and imagination





Interest of literature for science




Annex 3 

Documents used:

  • Accompanying document: “Enseigner les sciences”  (Teaching science)
  • Video: activity on the illustration of the existence of air (Documents accompanying the curricula)
  • Schematic representation of the investigative approach.
Training activities: 
Organising a training session: