Content-Area Literacy chemistry high school science

Chemical Phenomena in Everyday Life: An Adventure in Writing Across the Curriculum


Chemistry teacher Laurie Smith shares how she adapted the Writing Marathon format to help her students explore and find examples of chemistry in action around them, then articulate and share their findings through writing. Laurie was introduced to the Writing Marathon and all its possibilities through a Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project workshop.
Closeup of rusting bolts on blue metal door with text to the right.

A student photo, description, and question created during the Chemistry in Action activity.

“Connections to everyday life provide the glue to help chemistry concepts stick. The shared experience of observing, wondering, writing, and talking about these concepts absolutely enhanced learning in my classroom. On a bigger scale, there are many studies that support the claim that writing improves student learning. Interestingly, Rivard and Straw found that writing and talking about science concepts improve retention even more than those students who only write.”

Read the original article at the American Association of Chemistry Teachers to learn exactly how Laurie planned and implemented this experience.