Writing about science in a creative way helps kids develop a wider range of skills and think more deeply and critically about all subjects. Here are some ideas —from writing biographies to creating infographics to rewriting song lyrics — to get your home learner writing about science.
1. Picture Book Biography
Picture book biographies are a perennial morning basket favorite at our house. A great picture book biography could paint the story of an important person’s life in broad brush strokes or it may describe a single episode from that person’s life in greater detail. Illustrations help readers connect to poignant moments, moments of struggle, and moments of triumph. Whatever your child’s age, writing about an important figure from the realm of science can help him or her not just enhance learning about a scientist’s contributions to the field but also develop an appreciation for the scientist’s struggles and hard work.
2. Graphic Non-fiction
The Science Comics series makes learning about any number of science topics fun. At our house, the Bats: Learning to Fly and Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter volumes have been big hits. Entice your creative, artistic learner to read a Science Comic and then pen their own comic-style informative guide about a science topic.
3. Letter to the Editor About a Science Issue
Sometimes the public could use a little help clearing up common misconceptions. Is your child annoyed by people reciting “The only good snake is a dead snake”? Does it make your child’s eye twitch when people proclaim that a cold snap proves that global warming is a scam? A letter to the editor of your local newspaper is a good way to help spread knowledge and has the added bonus of giving the act of writing real purpose since it has the potential of finding a real audience and even potentially changing minds.
4. Write a Science Fiction
Does your child’s imagination lead them to think about how today’s scientific developments might change the future? Or maybe your child hears about new scientific research on the news and can’t stop thinking about how we’re all doomed. Either way, encourage your child to develop those ideas into a short story that wonders “What if…?”
5. Research a Hot Current Science Issue
6. Persuasive Essay About a Science Topic
Should your community make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly power source? Is your student passionate about a public health crisis? Turn your student’s enthusiasm or frustration into a powerful persuasive essay. Even better, send the final draft to the elected representatives or officials who have the power to affect change for the better. Your child is likely to receive a reply if you send the essay to a politician, and often a response makes for far more meaningful feedback than a letter grade.
7. Create an Infographic
People love infographics, and why wouldn’t they? Infographics organize complex information into easily digestible knowledge nuggets that are pleasant to look at. Encourage your child to be a diligent fact checker, and remember to leave a little room on the image to list a web source so that others who enjoy the infographic can check the veracity of the information for themselves. Post it to social media and encourage your friends and family to pass it along. Just think how rewarding it will be to see how far the information can travel!
Infographics are a great way to explain complex ideas.
8. Create a Brochure
If you have a naturalist living under your roof, help them write a brochure about some of the flora or fauna found in your area. Offer copies to the local state park rangers to distribute in the park office or at wildlife education programs.
Remind your child that the brochures are more likely to be used by others if they are free from spelling and grammar errors, and let that provide a little extra motivation to be a thorough proofreader.
9. Script and Film a Documentary
Who says David Attenborough gets to have all the fun? This project will probably hold special appeal to kids who enjoy creative writing or who have an interest in photography. Be sure to provide some guidance on the front end of this project to help steer kids toward an appropriate subject and scope. Filming a nature documentary can hold many surprises since wildlife
10. Rewrite Song Lyrics About a Science Topic
Writing about science doesn’t have to be limited to prose. Let your student take a turn at writing verse by changing the lyrics to a catchy song. Whether you’re studying mitosis or human anatomy, the results are almost certain to make you smile. If you have musically-inclined kids, they’d probably love recording themselves performing their new science-centric song and sharing it with their friends.
In a former life, Maggie Martin was a high school English teacher, and now she’s a homeschooling mama to eight-year-old twins. She loves sharing her insights about helping kids become excellent readers and writers, what’s working in her homeschool, and the joys and challenges of a homeschooling lifestyle at her blog, thelanguageartscoach.com.