Adaptation of a Knowledge-Based Instructional Intervention to Accelerate Student Learning in Science and Early Literacy in Grades 1 and 2

Michael R Vitale, Nancy R. Romance


This study focused on accelerating the development of in-depth science for students (N = 513) in grades 1-2 as a means for enhancing reading comprehension. Using an adaptation of a grade 3-5 cognitive-science-based, instructional model (Science IDEAS), the study implemented daily 45 minute instructional periods emphasizing in-depth, cumulative learning of science core-concept "clusters" that provided teachers with a thematic focus for all aspects of science instruction. Results confirmed the feasibility of implementing in-depth science instruction at the primary level and showed through analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) that experimental students obtained significantly higher achievement on nationally-normed Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Reading and ITBS Science subtests than comparable controls. Curricular policy implications for increasing the instructional time for content-area instruction at the primary level are discussed.



Science comprehension, early literacy

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