Date Awarded


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Deborah Steinberg

Committee Member

Janice McDonnell


The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia public schools, and other national standards, set expectations for student achievements throughout the school year for many subjects, including science. Because educators must prepare their students for end-of-course exams based on the SOL, classroom discussion and deeper understanding of topics can be lessened. Middle school students show declines in motivations and attitudes toward science, and challenges are greater for English-learning (EL) students. Incorporating storytelling into science classrooms can be helpful to EL and non-EL students because it presents challenging topics and vocabulary in a simpler and more engaging way than traditional textbooks. This project seeks to provide middle school educators with tools to incorporate science stories into classrooms without sacrificing important SOL topics.


Capstone Products:

Sofia, Aman, and the Coldest Continent

The Case of the Missing Penguins! 7th Grade Life Science Lesson Plan

The Case of the Missing Penguins! PowerPoint

Fishing for… Plankton? 7th Grade Life Science Lesson Plan

Fishing for… Plankton? PowerPoint

Lesson PowerPoints can be found under Additional Files

The Case of the Missing Penguins! can be found at:



© The Author