Unit Roadmaps

Unit Roadmaps present three suggested sequences for incorporating Science A–Z resources into instruction. Teachers should consider their curriculum requirements, instructional philosophy, and available instructional time as well as students’ performance levels and interests. One model might be selected when teaching a certain science topic, while a different model might work best for another. All three roadmaps can also be mapped to the BSCS 5E Model.

Although the roadmaps present many of the resources in a linear pathway, certain resources can be used concurrently—in learning centers, for homework, or by applying the jigsaw method. All three models engage students in critical thinking, reading, writing, discourse, and the hands-on application of science and engineering practices.

Read-First Model

In the read-first model, students begin by reading texts that help them build a foundation of understanding with the core science ideas of the unit. Then they engage in hands-on investigations and use other resources to explore examples related to the concepts they read about. Students learn about general concepts before using deductive reasoning to apply them to specific examples.

Vocabulary resources can be used at multiple points throughout the unit to develop and strengthen students’ fluency with the disciplinary language of science. TIP: Challenge students to maintain a concept web throughout the unit that connects the examples they explore later in the roadmap back to the core ideas they read about in the Unit Nonfiction Book.

1.

Unit Guide

  • Spark Activity

QUICK READS

(3 levels)
Generate interest and tap into prior knowledge.
2.

Unit Nonfiction Books

(3 Levels)
  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Discussion Cards
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Book Quiz (3 levels)
  • Concept Books (K–2 only)
Have students read a core text to understand key science ideas before exploring examples.
3.

Process Activity

  • Teaching Tips
Apply concepts and practices through structured hands-on investigations.
4.

FOCUS Books

  • Back-cover activities
  • Teaching Tips
  • Quiz

Investigation Pack

  • I.Files
  • Mystery File
  • Teaching Tips

Science Videos

  • Video Discussion Questions
Dig deeper with additional reading, open-ended, investigations, writing, discussion, and multimedia, resources that explore, examples of key concepts.
5.

Interactive Science Lesson

  • Teaching Tips
Provide self-paced independent practice and assessment to reinforce and broaden conceptual understanding.
6.

Career Files

Debate

Reading A–Z Books*

Extend the learning.

* Each unit includes one free book from Reading A–Z. To access other titles related to the science topic, a subscription to Reading A–Z or Raz-Plus is required.

Do-First Model

In the do-first model*, students are immersed in unit concepts by completing hands-on investigations that allow them to apply science and engineering practices and construct their own explanations of core ideas. Then students read texts, watch videos, and complete more investigations that help them confirm or refine their explanations. Vocabulary resources can be used at multiple points throughout the unit to develop and strengthen students’ fluency with the disciplinary language of science. TIP: Have students use a science journal to record the examples they explore through activities and readings, then challenge them to design a concept web that connects those examples to the core ideas they read about in the Unit Nonfiction Book toward the end of the roadmap.

1.

Unit Guide

  • Spark Activity
Generate interest and tap into prior knowledge.
2.

Process Activity

  • Teaching Tips

FOCUS Books

  • Back-cover activities
  • Teaching Tips
  • Quiz
Lead structured investigations, then encourage students to engage in open-ended investigations to apply practices and pursue answers to questions.
3.

Quick Reads

(3 levels)

Investigation Pack

  • I.Files
  • Mystery File
  • Teaching Tips

Science Videos

  • Video Discussion Questions
Dig deeper into examples with additional reading, writing, discussion, and multimedia.
4.

Unit Nonfiction Books

  • (3 levels)
  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Discussion Cards
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Book Quiz (3 levels)
  • Concept Books (K–2 only)
Have students read a core text to connect ideas from previous experience and establish a firm understanding of the concepts.
5.

Interactive Science Lesson

  • Teaching Tips
Provide self-paced independent practice and assessment to reinforce and broaden conceptual understanding.
6.

Career Files

Debate

Reading A–Z Books**

Extend the learning.

* This model may also be referred to as the discovery method, in which students use inductive reasoning to determine broad concepts by first exploring examples.
** Each unit includes one free book from Reading A–Z. To access other titles related to the science topic, a subscription to Reading A–Z or Raz-Plus is required.

Project-Based Model

In the project-based model*, students work in teams to investigate a science question or design a solution to an engineering challenge. The PBL Project Organizer, SAZ Journal, completed project, and group presentation all allow students to demonstrate what they have learned and accomplished. The PBL Teaching Tips help teachers facilitate the project, while rubrics for teachers and students can be used to assess group and individual performance. During planning and execution, students use other unit resources to build their understanding of core concepts that they can apply to their project.

Unit Guide

  • Spark Activity

Project-Based Learning Pack

  • PBL Project Organizer
  •  | 
  • PBL Teaching Tips
  •  | 
  • SAZ Journal
  •  | 
  • Teacher and Student Rubrics

The project determines which resources to use as research tools during project planning and development.

Unit Nonfiction Books

(3 levels)
  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Discussion Cards
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Book Quiz (3 levels)
  • Concept Books (K–2 only)

Investigation Pack

(3 levels)
  • I.Files
  • Mystery File
  • Teaching Tips

FOCUS Books

  • Back-cover activities
  • Teaching Tips
  • Quiz

Game Pack

Image Cards

Vocabulary Cards

Science Videos

  • Video Discussion Questions

Interactive Science Lesson

  • Teaching Tips

Quick Reads

(3 levels)

Process Activity

  • Teaching Tips

* This model is sometimes referred to as a problem-based approach to learning, in which the objective is to solve a problem. In Science A-Z product-Based Learning Packs, students do both—solve a problem and produce a product.