I want to know if there are ways to incorporate [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)] into more or all subjects? How would a teacher begin to integrate English or social studies with STEM?
Children do not come to school with brains divided by subjects—we compartmentalize the subjects for administrative reasons. To help students become well-rounded I strongly believe that we should teach all subjects in an integrated manner. STEM attempts to bring together similar subjects that should rely on each other. However, we can’t even begin to teach these subjects without communication, also known as language arts. When you add social context, societal issues, ethics, and geography to STEM lessons, you have incorporated social studies. And don’t forget about the arts!
Here are some concrete ideas you may want to consider:
Foster written communication by incorporating reports and journaling activities in place of fill-in-the-blank worksheets. Reinforce verbal communication through discussion groups where students can use new terminology, brainstorm ideas, and share conclusions about data they collected. Teach students the dos and don’ts of slide show presentations and have them present research projects, lab results, pictorial essays, and more to the class.
Students can overlay data on maps, plan and discuss environmentally friendly development, debate issues and ethics related to science and technology (e.g. where to place wind-turbines, the use of pesticides or genetic manipulation, terraforming other planets, and more) to incorporate social studies.
Throughout all of this you can encourage creativity by integrating art, design, music, and movement as methods of demonstrating understanding.
Hope this helps!
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