Junior Cycle - Science





Strategies for Literacy in Science



This technique requires students to be divided into groups of four.  Students gather around the Placemat Template which is organised with sections for each student to record their ideas and a central section for students to summarise their individual ideas.  First students individually think about a question and write down their ideas on their own section of the template.  Then students share their ideas to discover common elements, which can be written in the centre of the placemat template.  The purpose of the placemat technique is to provide all students with the opportunity to share their ideas and learn from each other in a co-operative small group discussion.  In doing so, students improve their oral literacy.  The benefits of the this strategy are that students have an opportunity to reflect and participate. They will extend their learning by listening to the ideas of others.  Click for more information on the placemat technique, as well as step-by-step instructions for successful implementation.


Other Literacy Resources

Useful Posters


Websites to Improve Literacy and Numeracy

Puzzlemaker Lots of different types of puzzles to make
Wordlearner Crosswords, wordsearches, bingo, matching and more
Wordsearches Make you own wordsearch
Pete's PowerPoint Station Good maths images and ideas
IXL Interactive revision site for maths - covers all topics
Skillwise Educational website to improve literacy and numeracy in adults
Quizlet Flashcards, Games and Tests
Studystack Flashcards, Matching, Crosswords, Tests, Quizzes
Wordle Create your own Word Cloud
Tagxedo Create your own Word Shape
Question Cube Create a question cube using Blooms Taxomony.  First enter your name, then click on "Create your own cube"


Checklists for Literacy & Numeracy

Oral Presentation Evaluation Form


This the National Strategy to improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011 - 2020. 

Click here for the summary of the strategy.
Click here to download the full strategy.


Checklist for Literacy & Numeracy


 Literacy and Numeracy


Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life outlines the government's national strategy which is in place to improve Literacy and Numeracy in Irish schools until 2020.


A summary of this document can be downloaded here.


A document to help you see where you are at in terms of numeracy is available below.


Checklist for self-evaluation of numeracy


Our local facilitators have developed a number of resources specifically to assist with literacy in science.  They inlcude definition lists and  keyword lists. 

A series of keyterm posters by topic is available to download.Print them  out and put them up around the room so that students will become familiar with key terms used.


Keyterm Posters


Teaching Keywords



Graphic Organisers


Graphic Organisers can help to improve literacy. Graphic organiser from the PDST are available here so that they can be printed out and given to students or as powerpoint slides that can be filled in on the computer.  There are also examples of prefilled organisers to science to give you some ideas.

Graphic Organisers for Printing

Graphic Organisers Powerpoint

Graphic Organisers Science Examples 


Instructions for Making a Little Book  


Make a Little Book Word PPT PDF

Students can make their own "little book" of definitions and science words for a particular topic



Q notes are a form of graphic orgniser that are useful to use with more advanced students. Q notes combines two well-known and powerful methods: SQ3R and Cornell Notes. It is called “Q-Notes” because students write Questions in the left-hand margin. When students are preparing for a Quiz or as revision, the Questions serves as CUES to remind them of what they need to know. When using these notes as study aids, students can fold the right edge of the paper over so that it lines up with the dotted line. They can then see questions in the Q-column which they can use these as a self assessment tool.

Q Notes Template