Vocabulary Breathes Life
into Science Lesson Plans

Using vocabulary in your science lesson plans will engage students in the interdisciplinary study of language. Focus your lessons on root words that bring scientific vocabulary to life for every child.

In Chemistry, the periodic table can become a fun source of new vocabulary words. Nearly all periodic elements derive from Latin or Greek roots, and those roots form the base of many English derivatives. Helium, for example, which is present in the sun's atmosphere, gives us heliocentric, an important word for historians.

Yes, Copernicus belongs in Chemistry class. Helium belongs in Social Studies.

Start with Latin roots to create an earth science lesson plan or an elementary lesson plan.

Physics teaches us several new root words as we build our science vocabulary. Words such as gravity, velocity, and acceleration all have Latin roots. Study these roots, and new words become easy to use and understand. In music class you may see the direction veloce! Or you may see the noun celerity in a novel by Charles Dickens.

Every branch of biology uses root words, prefixes, and suffixes from Latin and Greek. Using these biology vocabulary words in your science lesson plans makes obscure words easy to understand. In the anatomy of the brain, for example, the pons is a band of fibers connecting parts of the brain.

Easy to remember when you know that pons means bridge in Latin. Its plural is pontes, giving us derivatives such as pontifex and pontificate.

In earth science, the three basic types of rock are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. These three scientific vocabulary words come from Latin and Greek roots meaning fire, sit, and shape-changing.

Can you see how these words relate to the ignition on your car? A sedentary lifestyle? (Learn the Latin derivatives from sedere here) Or Ovid's metamorphoses? If you understand basic Latin, such words are easy to remember.

In Astronomy, Latin and Greek tell us that an astronaut is a star-sailor, an equinox is a time when day and night are of equal length, a constellation is a group of stars, and luminosity is a measure of brightness.

Explore these pages to discover new ways to include vocabulary in your science lesson plans. With the study of a few Latin and Greek root words, building vocabulary becomes easy and fun.

See More Latin Roots

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