Helping Students Learn Science Through Writing And Writing Through Science: Key Findings from Ten Years of Study

Publication: March 2012

Project: Seattle TPC and Science-Writing Approach (SWA)

Authors: Katherine Ramage and Laura Stokes

Type: Monograph

Download Monograph (pdf, 55 pages)


Over the past decade, Betsy Rupp Fulwiler and a team of K-5 lead teachers in Seattle Public Schools have developed and refined a highly effective approach to teaching writing in science to elementary school students. Inverness Research conducted four major studies of the approach, referred to as the Science-Writing Approach (SWA). This monograph draws from this large body of research to support four claims:

Claim 1: The Science-Writing Approach improves the teaching of science and of writing

Claim 2: The Science-Writing Approach improves learning for a wide range of students

Claim 3: Putting the Science-Writing Approach into practice requires a foundational inquiry-based science curriculum and a variety of professional development supports

Claim 4: There is a need for, a model for, and leadership capacity for launching a national professional development institute for science writing

Information about the theory and practice of the Science-Writing Approach is accessible to all through the publication of two books: Writing in Science and Writing in Science in Action, both published by Heinemann. The approach is consistent with and can support implementation of the ambitious Next Generation Science Standards. Our hope is that this monograph will provide districts across the nation with the information and encouragement they need to familiarize themselves with this approach to teaching elementary science and expository writing and to seek the supports they need to put it into action in their classrooms.

Intended Audience

Science Educators, Teachers, School and District Administrators, Reform Leaders, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.