This study investigated preservice science teachers’ use of inscriptions in their peer teaching lessons. The results indicate that they used different kinds of inscriptions for a wide range of purposes, both pedagogical and normative, and the level of abstractness of inscriptions used varied across different science sub-disciplines. The finding demonstrated that preservice teachers have multiple purposes when using inscriptions and that their purposes differ from scientists’ purposes. Preservice teachers use inscriptions to help students conceptually understand science and to communicate students’ understanding of science for themselves and others. This study indicates that inscriptions and their relation to the discourse and practices of science are critically important as an area of emphasis in preparing preservice teachers.