Season 1, Episode 3

Ways to integrate literacy skills into a K–8 science classroom: Rebecca Abbott

In this episode, our host Eric Cross discusses the importance of integrating literacy skills into science instruction with Rebecca Abbott, Professional Learning Lead at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. Listen in as Rebecca challenges science educators to weave together vocabulary, background knowledge, and an understanding of language structures to help students make sense of complex science texts. Eric and Rebecca chat about ways to infuse literacy into science.

Meet our guest(s):

Rebecca Abbott

Rebecca Abbott is the Professional Learning Lead for The Learning Design Group at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, the research and curriculum development team that created Amplify Science. In her 10 years at The Lawrence, she has been supporting instructional leaders and teachers in implementing research-based science instructional materials and approaches, often traveling to work with educators in various parts of the country or meeting them on Zoom. Before coming to the Hall, Rebecca taught in San Francisco Bay Area schools for many years, finding her sweet spot as a third grade teacher, and then later as a K-5 interdisciplinary instructional coach and English learner specialist. When she’s not working to integrate science and literacy, you can find her spending her time outdoors on various adventures in the mountains and on the coast of Northern California.

Meet our host: Eric Cross

Eric Cross is a seventh grade science/technology teacher, grade level lead, and digital learning innovator for Albert Einstein Academies, International Baccalaureate schools. He is also an adjunct professor of learning and technology at the University of San Diego and a Google certified innovator. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Education from the University of San Diego. He had 17 years of experience working with at-risk youth and underserved populations before becoming a middle school teacher. By building relationships with students, colleagues, and the community, he has become an empowered leader in and out of the classroom. Through meaningful learning experiences centered around student agency, STEM has become accessible to students through highly engaging lesson design, thoughtful integration of digital tools, and culturally relevant pedagogy.

Transcripts and additional resources

Show notes:


It’s not like you need to teach language arts or literacy in a separate block … but really you can think about them merging together. - Rebecca Abbott