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Inspired by the original Word Generation program, Science Generation (SciGen) goes in-depth on science topics commonly taught to middle school students, but can be adapted for use with younger and older learners. These curricular materials provide opportunities to read, write, discuss, and build arguments about basic questions in science. After the successful response to our first 18 Science Generation units, teachers wanted more! They asked SERP to expand the materials to include more life science and other topics and to be in a more digitally friendly form for use in the classroom on, for example, a tablet.

These units are continually updated and refined. Our live pages may change at any time without notice. Feel free to download what you need. These are and will remain open education resources (OER) under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Each unit is comprised of four or more science activities and highlights 5–10 academic words. All activities relate to the central question or topic of the week, build relevant knowledge, and provide opportunities to encounter the new academic vocabulary in multiple semantic contexts. By bringing the scientific knowledge closer to students’ lives, they are equipped with both the background knowledge and the tools to engage in scientific argumentation.

Fast Facts

  •  Designed for grades 6–8, adaptable to younger and older students
  •  Includes 24 in-depth units, each lasting about one week of five 45-minute sessions
  •  Addresses topics teachers identified as lacking high-quality treatments in other science programs
  •  Developed by teams of researchers, practitioners, and designers
  •  Tested in a broad range of classrooms
  •  Now being expanded in collaboration with teachers in New York City and San Francisco.
  •  Currently seeking early adopters to influence the direction of the materials


This project was supported by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. Support for Science Generation was provided by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through grant number R305F100026. Development of the original Word Generation program was led by Catherine Snow (Harvard University) through a SERP collaboration with the Boston Public Schools and other districts in Massachusetts and Maryland. The information provided does not represent the views of the funders.

Word Generation by SERP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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