Literacy in Science

Supporting literacy in science

What book are you reading at the moment?

I ask this because reading is so important to all of us and if you don't read for pleasure, your vocabulary may be limited and you may be at a disadvantage when in exams or later in work. I am constantly adding to our list of general (tier 2) words that examiners assume that you all understand. Remember that what you read is less important that the fact that you read. Although I am a fan of horror fiction and thrillers, here are some of my favourite science books to try:

• Bill Bryson: A short history of nearly everything.

• Paul Strathern: Mendelyev's Dream.

• Sam Kean: The Disappearing Spoon.

• Robin Cook: Outbreak.

• Andy Weir: The Martian.

On each of the GCSE topic pages, I have added tier 3/subject specific terms. You will meet these words regularly in science and it is important that when you visit the pages, you are aware of them, what they mean and how to use them in sentences to answer questions.

Nothing that I can do here can replace the amazing impact that reading regularly has on us. If you think that you don't like reading, it is because you haven't found "your kind of book" yet. Keep looking.

Tier 2 words that you should know & understand

Tier 2 word/term Meaning
Products Things being made
Composed of Made up from
Finite Limited amount (opposite of infinite)
Transition To change from one to another
Consequences What happens when something is done
Transmission Passing something on e.g. a virus
Uniform All being the same
Engulf To surround and cover
Classify To put into a category
Construct To build something
Hypothesis A question or statement that can be tested
Investigate To search for an answer or solution
Compare Look at the similarities and differences
Record Write down
Linear In a straight line
Principle A moral rule or a law
Process A series of steps to get something done

This page was updated on: 8th January 2022