Science Centered Language

The FOSS active investigations, science notebooks, FOSS Science Resources articles, and formative assessments provide rich contexts in which students develop and exercise thinking and communication. These elements are essential for effective instruction in both science and language arts—students experience the natural world in real and authentic ways and use language to inquire, process information, and communicate their thinking about scientific phenomena. FOSS refers to this development of language process and skills within the context of science as science-centered language development.

There are many ways to integrate language into science investigations. The most effective integration depends on the type of investigation, the experience of students, the language skills and needs of students, and the language objectives that you deem important at the time. The Science-Centered Language Development chapter is a library of resources and strategies for you to use. The chapter describes how literacy strategies are integrated purposefully into the FOSS investigations, gives suggestions for additional literacy strategies that both enhance students’ learning in science and develop or exercise English-language literacy skills, and develops science vocabulary with scaffolding strategies for supporting all learners. The chapter is available in print in Teacher Resources and as a PDF for elementary and for middle school.

Resource Database

Each FOSS module and course includes a resources database, called Recommended Books and Websites, found on FOSSweb. The resources database includes annotated listings for nonfiction and fiction books for students, resource books for teachers, and web resources that extend the hands-on science activities in each FOSS module.

Students and families can view similar versions of the database through the student and family pages on FOSSweb. Students and families can visit as a guest or login using the username and password provided by the student's teacher to access the list of recommended books and websites.

You can download a list of books from all modules in the Next Generation and Third Editions:

Next Generation Modules

Third Edition Modules

This database will be updated twice a year. We would love to hear about any books or other resources you are using with your students to enhance the FOSS modules. You can send your ideas and suggestions for this database to the FOSS staff at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Email us at