The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 1 - Page 24


Linking Science and Literacy in the Show-Me State:

Introducing the 2017 Missouri Science Trade book Annual Reading (MO-STAR) List


Trade books provide effective ways to generate student interest and extend student learning in curricular areas. Likewise, trade books help teachers integrate language arts into other subjects such as science. Marzano, Pickering, and Pollack (2001) concluded that using trade books along with effective guided reading strategies in science can increase learning in both subjects and improve comprehension of material. Both the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have issued bedrock position statements encouraging the use of multiple methods, including the use of trade books with science instruction, to expand students’ exposure to both content areas (IRA/ILA, 1999; NSTA, 2002). The original IRA/ILA position statement was supported with a 2015 position statement supporting the research practices of including texts to promote reading and vocabulary in all subjects throughout the school day (ILA, 2015). The original 2002 NSTA position statement is under revision at the time of this article. It seems likely that the NSTA position statement will echo, and extend, the support for inclusions of informational texts stressed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Importantly, trade books written and illustrated for the elementary grades combine distinctive visual and literary components to create engaging and meaningful experiences for children.

The need and relevancy for

developing the MO-STAR list

Although there are national lists that recommend books for integrating elementary science and literacy, the lists do not have links identifying associated Missouri Learning Standards (MLS). The MO-STAR list bridges this gap by identifying trade books and listing correlating MLS. This is accomplished by aligning the MO-STAR list selections to the MLS grade level expectations in science in grades K-5 (Missouri Department of Education, 2017). This alignment provides an implicit connection to the accompanying conceptual strands listed in the curriculum framework. Tothis end, the authors have created the MO-STAR list as a resource of new, high-quality



Jennifer Fox, Joyce Gulley, and Jeff Thomas