To help students stay up to date on current events in science, I use a Science Writing Journal as an extension activity to use after students finish tests or other assignments. I provide them with a variety of current events in science articles (pulled from the internet), and copies of magazine subscriptions (such as ScienceWorld, Discover, Popular Science, etc.).
This student handout summarizes instructions for students to set up their writing journals (marble composition notebook). I provide my students with a copy of these instructions and have them paste it in the back of their writing journals to use as reference.
This handout goes along with a presentation I also offer in my store that is a step by step guide to model to students how to set up a science writing journals using a marble composition notebook. It includes step by step information on how to set up a table of contents for their journal and how to set up each page spread. It also includes step by step instructions on how to properly cite an article.
For this assignment, students are shown how to write a short summary of the article and are asked to answer task cards on each article they read.
Please note this assignment works hand in hand with a set of common core task cards with writing prompts. The task card set is free and can easily be found using google.
The handout and presentation are also editable so that you can make adjustments based on your own requirements and guidelines.
This is a wonderful activity that my students have benefited greatly from. It implements a strong writing component, keeps them knowledgeable on current events in science, and ensures they always have something productive to do.
This would be appropriate for grades 6-12.