Next Generation Science Standards

Should I incorporate a science book in my lesson? Should It be fiction or non-fiction ?

 I teach 5th grade Science, and I don’t use book readings in my lesson often, however I notice how much they love reading. I rarely have time and must get started on the actual lesson and experiments, but I just want to know how everyone else incorporates it in their lessons and when? I also want it to be something they really listen to, so is non-fictional science topic books more interesting, rather than Fictional science books?    

Miranda Foster
Miranda Foster
375 Activity Points

In my high school science classes, I start every week with "book & bird" (aka nature notes). I read a picture book or pass around a reference book or show a website with a projector. Normally the book ties into what we're doing - there are *lots* of good science-connected picture books out there - or it's a life skill like anti-bullying. The most important part is the question afterwards: Why am I reading this book to all my classes today? The "bird" part is the actual nature note, which they can use as extra credit on the final. I point out some natural event that's happened over the past week, like woolly bear caterpillars wandering around & how they can survive freezing solid during the winter. (This part started off as just birds...) Kids I had as 7th graders still remember the chickadee sings "cheeseburger" when I see them again in 10th grade biology. Don't be afraid to incorporate books!

Torrey Wenger
Torrey Wenger
193 Activity Points

I'm a preservice teacher at Wartburg College and here we learn that science is in everything. I'm aware that it's difficult to fit everything you need to do throughout your day, but reading and science go so easily together. You can take a non-fiction book where the main characters are animals then look at the life cycles or habits of these animals and how these things relate to the book then look at how it relates to the students themselves. I would use it as an anticipatory set or even as a closure.

Brooke Keller
Brooke Keller
80 Activity Points

I am a pre-service teacher at the University of Arkansas. From the children's literature classes that I have taken, I think it is more important that the book is relevant to the topic you are teaching about. It doesn't really matter if the book is non- fiction or fiction as long as the story is interesting and adds to the lesson!

I think adding children's books into science lessons makes it easier to teach multiple subjects at once since students are learning the science of the lesson while extending their comprehension skills. 

Jacqueline Interiano
Jacqueline Interiano
190 Activity Points

We've developed several elementary level investigations that incorporate books. Our 2nd grade unit was on soils and entailed in the students identifying the soil type in their schoolyard. The teachers read to their students the entire book Jump Into Science: Dirt (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/179342/jump-into-science-dirt-by-steve-tomecek/9781426300899/) at the beginning of the unit to engage them in the topic and provide them with information so they would understand why "dirt" (soil) is so important. We also did a first grade unit on supporting bird habitat that entailed students experimenting with bird feeders to determine the best place in the schoolyard to plant a seed-producing plant for bird habitat. The teachers read to the students sections of the book Beaks! (http://www.birdsleuth.org/beaks/) at various points in the lesson as appropriate to provide them with information as needed. 

Cassie Doty
Cassie Doty
70 Activity Points

NSTA produces two lists of books for use in classrooms: Outstanding trade books with annual lists going back to 1996 and outstanding STEM books [which goes back to 2017]. 

There are so many non-fiction books to choose from, but if you do choose fiction, ensure the science is correct. I have had fun with Gary Larsen's "There is a Hair in my Dirt," for example. 

Students could write book or story reviews, share why they liked the book, share the science that connects to the story, look for similar connections in their lives, to promote the connectedness and integration of science. 

Bev DeVore-Wedding
Bev Bev DeVore-Wedding
4438 Activity Points

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