How to Fit in Science Instruction When You Don’t Have the Time

“There is not enough time in the year to get everything done!” is one line that every teacher says during the school year. No matter how well lessons are planned out, there is simply not enough time in each day to accomplish everything on the lesson plan.

Due to this, everything gets pushed back and some standards simply cannot be taught or be taught in much detail. To help ensure students are learning all of the focus standards, teachers have to be creative in their lessons by joining subjects together such as science instruction and English language arts. 

With a little careful planning, you can fit your science instruction in, even if you don’t have the time to teach science!

Here are my top tips for making it all work plus a free science unit that you can use to get started right away.

Integrate Science Content into a Literacy Block 

Due to how vital reading is, teachers have to spend a good amount of time focused on improving reading speed and comprehension. A great way to work on these skills is to incorporate science into your literary block. By doing this, two subjects are being taught at once!

You may also be interested in some tips for teaching claim, evidence, reasoning in upper elementary which integrates key literacy skills. 

If students are learning about the solar system, this Interactive Flip Book is the perfect way to incorporate the science content into the literacy portion of the lesson.

In this activity, students will learn about the inner and outer planets, the Earth’s moon, the seasons, and night/day. In order to learn about these important science concepts, students will complete a KWL chart and write about their knowledge of the solar system.

Students are going to complete so many literacy-based activities in an engaging format by cutting, gluing, sorting, drawing, and filling in the blanks. By incorporating all of these literacy-based activities into the science content, students will be able to spend more time focused on deepening their knowledge on the science content by increasing their reading and writing skills. There will no longer be a rush to get to the next subject when subjects are united! 

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Informational Text 

No matter where you live, your state most likely has a large focus on informational text in the classroom. However, it can be tricky to find informational text that students truly enjoy. This Sun, Moon, Earth 3rd-5th Grade Science Flip Book – NGSS Aligned activity is the perfect solution! 

Students are going to learn all about the sun, moon, and Earth in a flip book filled with informational text! There are so many engaging activities that they won’t even realize how much science content they’re learning.

Students will learn about the change in shadows throughout the day, stars, the reasons for seasons and day/night, and Earth’s moon through a variety of short readings followed by thought-provoking activities.

In order to bring in more than just informational text, students will also complete a Venn Diagram and answer text-based questions. This flipbook is filled with science content fully embedded in a language-arts format!

Informational Writing about Science Concepts 

Writing is a huge focus in classrooms! It is a skill that is often so tough to learn and requires a lot of time, patience, and practice. Since there is so much content to get through, it can be hard to set aside the time that writing truly deserves. 

In this Climate Zone Bundle, students are going to write an informational essay based on the scientific concept of climate zones. In order to do the research, students will read about different climate zones while annotating, complete sorting activities, word searches, and Study Jam questions. There are a variety of activities in order for students to complete their research in order to fully prepare for their essay. 

After completing this portion of the lesson, students will now progress into writing an informational essay utilizing the BLT method. Bacon makes everything better, right!?

Students will now incorporate one of their favorite sandwiches or breakfast items to remember the format for writing. The guides provided in this bundle will teach students how to write the introduction first. Next, they will bring in one detail supported by evidence and an explanation before ending the paragraph with a transition statement. After bringing in the bacon, lettuce, and tomato (also known as body paragraphs 1, 2, and 3), students will bring in the last part of the bun for the conclusion. This bundle ensures that students are provided the needed time to learn the science content while learning how to write an essay. 

With these activities, there no longer has to be the stress to fit everything into the school day or have separate subjects.

Instead of a 50 minute period of science and language arts, there can now be a 100-minute block of time dedicated to learning science content through literacy-based activities. In addition to this, there is no longer the concern over having to skip science because students need more time to read or write. These activities ensure that students are building their science knowledge through reading and writing activities!