All the Light We Cannot See: Novel and Properties of Waves Study

All the Light We Cannot See: Novel and Properties of Waves Study

Erica Lynn Johnson (Kingsport City Schools, USA), Marsha Buck (Kingsport City Schools, USA) and Sarah A. Rhymer (Hawkins County Schools, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6364-8.ch012
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This chapter offers an enlightening 5E lesson plan that guides ELA teachers through a novel study using excerpts from All the Light We Cannot See, while also directing science teachers through a series of simulations and exercises designed to teach students about the basic properties of waves, including the electromagnetic spectrum. Focusing on science and literacy integration, this chapter also draws attention to the fact that the unit is designed to be taught simultaneously by each content-area teacher or, alternatively, at separate times during the year. The unit provides students with opportunities to explore all components of 5E (engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation) in both disciples. Lessons are directly aligned with CCSS and NGSS standards, respectively. Additionally, the unit provides all necessary resources, including handouts and appendices, for teachers to successfully teach the unit for student mastery.
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Yager (2004) noted that for students to truly internalize scientific concepts, those concepts must be firmly rooted in familiarity. Students must be able to make connections between the world in which they reside and scientific learning. Nichols (2015) posits that the integration of Science and English Language Arts (ELA) can be a powerful means to bridge these connections and increase confidence in both subject areas. In this chapter, we introduce one method of integrating these two content areas, through a novel and a study of the properties of waves. We specifically focus on the following:

  • 1.

    Connections between Common Core ELA Standards and the Science and Engineering Practices, outlined in the Framework for K-12 Education (National Research Council, 2012) and incorporated by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013);

  • 2.

    Science and ELA content standards;

  • 3.

    Tested classroom examples using 5E instruction; and

  • 4.

    Corresponding assessment rubrics.


Ela And Science Practices Addressed

In this chapter, we highlight a set of two practices, one for ELA and one for science, that are integrated into each subject area (see Figure 1). The ELA practice of reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence is used by students throughout the lesson in both content areas. Likewise, students use the NGSS practice of developing and using models in the ELA classroom as well as in the science classroom. By selecting a pair of ELA and science practices to incorporate into the lessons, the integration happens quite naturally and in a meaningful way.

Figure 1.

Pairing ELA and science practices


Ela And Science Topics Addressed

This lesson focuses on waves, including properties, sounds, the electromagnetic spectrum, and uses in conjunction with communication devices. In the ELA classroom, the novel All the Light We Cannot See will be used as the anchor of both a novel study and an examination of different technologies that made use during World War II of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the science classroom, students will explore the properties of waves through a variety of models, and the application of waves in technology.

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