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Support the Science of Reading with Britannica

Schools and districts across the country are embracing the Science of Reading this school year. We know that reading takes place throughout the school day beyond the English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. You can supplement your core Social Studies and Science curriculum with high-quality literacy resources that address the Science of Reading. 

Regular readers of the blog know that I’m a big fan of Britannica Education. You might have listened to my podcast episode in partnership with them earlier this summer or seen some of my coverage on their high-quality professional learning resources (links below). In addition to these offerings, Britannica Education gives teachers access to high-quality resources that support the Science of Reading and the integration of ELA skills across subject areas.

If you are looking to incorporate the best practices around the Science of Reading into your content areas, Britannica Expedition: Learn has you covered. Today on the blog, we’ll explore everything Britannica Expedition: Learn has to offer!

What is Britannica Expedition: Learn?

Expedition: Learn provides teachers with access to digital lessons they can share with their students. These resources can supplement your traditional instruction in an ELA environment but are especially useful for educators who teach Social Studies or Science. If you are a content area teacher who is teaching reading skills this year, you’ll certainly want to leverage these resources – particularly if you’re working with middle school students.

Screenshot of Britannica Expedition: Learn platform, highlighting its features for supporting students with reading passages and assessments.

Each digital lesson in Expedition: Learn is designed to help students spark interest in the topic, build understanding, connect learning to previous experiences, and encourage students to learn more. The Lessons all start with a video to introduce a topic, activate student interest, and provide background information. The lessons have a read-aloud feature and the option to translate over 100 languages. Informational text features like captions for photos are present in each digital lesson, along with assessment and reflection opportunities for students.

I had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the platform and was impressed with the student experience as well as the tools for teachers. In Expedition: Learn, teachers can differentiate instruction by sharing specific resources with the students they support and gathering valuable data regarding areas where students need additional help. So teachers can assign digital lessons to students based on the content they are exploring in Social Studies or Science classes and support literacy instruction simultaneously.

Support the Science of Reading

If you and your school district are making a commitment to infuse Science or Reading into your curriculum this year, Britannica Expedition: Learn has resources to help make this happen. Each lesson can help students build domain-specific vocabulary and provide students with background knowledge to support a deeper understanding of each topic. 

Display of Britannica Expedition: Learn interface, showing how it offers reading passages and assessments based on the Science of Reading.

When I talk with educators about infusing literacy skills across the content areas, one of the biggest struggles is finding supplemental reading experiences that connect to Social Studies and Science goals. Of course, if you grew up exploring Encyclopedia Britannica volumes as a child like I did, then you know that the resources from Britannica Expedition: Learn are high-quality and comprehensive, too. The supporting images and text for each digital lesson are pulled from Britannica’s wealth of content – not copy and pasted but instead put into the context of a lesson with students in mind.

Easy-to-Use Resources

As I mentioned earlier, Britannica Expedition: Learn has a comprehensive assessment component that gives you insights into student needs and tools to address them. So, if you are working with students recovering from learning loss and need lessons to support literacy skill building, Expedition: Learn makes it easy to find what you are looking for. Teachers can dive into content in multiple ways to find the perfect resource to share with students. They can search by keyword to find a digital lesson on a specific topic or view all of the options available in the Social Studies and Science categories.

Image capturing the user interface of Britannica Expedition: Learn, showcasing its tools for aiding students in reading and assessment.

The Britannica Expedition: Learn platform also helps teachers check for understanding and quickly take action based on assessment data. They have kits with scaffolded lessons to support students who demonstrate that they need extra help with particular literacy skills. The Find & Assign feature makes it easy to distribute lessons to students and even set them up with reading experiences that match their reading level.

Teachers can use the assessments built into the platform to check for understanding. These assessments include different ELA skills and content for each subject area. They mirror traditional assessments to help students practice answering questions while giving their teachers valuable information. Teachers can also access reports with a student data overview for the whole class, as well as a drill down to see question by question. The Skills Report is especially useful if you are making connections to Science of Reading initiatives because it shows the connection to student performance alongside skills like “Identify Main Idea and Details” or “Compare and Contrast.”

Britannica Expedition: Learn

Ready to get started with Britannica Expedition: Learn? Head over to this page to learn more about everything Expedition: Learn has to offer students and teachers this school year. In addition to all the ready-to-use digital lessons available for you to explore, Britannica Education can also work alongside a district to create curated curriculum connections to help support your Science of Reading initiatives. 

Find more posts featuring Britannica Education:

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Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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