Teaching Through Trade Books: May the Force Be with You!by: Marsha Riddle Buly and Nicole Melvin

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Students’ fascination with moving objects—as well as with how they themselves move—can inspire numerous physical science investigations. This month's Teaching Through Trade Books column focuses on two books about motion: Go, Go, Go! Kids on the Move and Why Doesn’t the Earth Fall Up? And Other Not Such Dumb Questions About Motion. Activities for grades K-3 and 4-6 help children explore how balance influences their own movement and design their own investigations to explain various phenomena.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
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Reviews (5)
  • on Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:30 AM

This article reviewed two trade books. The first, Go, Go, Go! Kids on the Move by Stephen R. Swinburne is about stimulating young students’ interest in basic physics (force and motion) using their own body’s movement. I like the idea of that because I feel students need more physical activities when learning for a greater meaningful connection to what they are studying. Sometimes physics can be so dry. However, kinesthetic learning is a fun way to learn. The other trade book, Why Doesn’t the Earth Fall Up? And Other Not Such Dumb Questions About Motion by Vicki Cobb is about questions student’s ask that may be used to lead them to authentic science investigations to discover the answer. I enjoy reviews like this column because it helps me to find books I would not normally be aware of. With no few bookstores around, I can’t browse the way I used to. Selecting books online can be difficult because you don’t get to leaf through the pages. This column did an excellent job of selecting two useful trade books.

Stephanie Gomez
Stephanie Gomez

  • on Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:26 PM

I believe this resource is a great starting point for teachers when talking about force and motion. It gives different literature resources that would be appropriate for both lower and upper elementary. It also provides activities that will allow students to begin thinking about the concepts of motion. This is a great way to incorporate literature and active participation into the classroom. I really believe both strategies provided are excellent ways to introduce students to the material and and show them how the concepts are applicable in their everyday life.


  • on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:57 AM

This article lends itself to a time when your students need a lot of movement. It describes two books - one for primary and one for intermediate grades. Both books describe motion and then there are two excellent lessons that get kids really moving and thinking about force and motion.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Wed May 11, 2011 9:18 AM

2) The two books discussed in this article connect due to the idea of motion. The first is about kids in motion and the activities associated with this book are for a K-3 NSES standard and involve movement and balance. The second trade book is for students in grade 4-6 NSES standards. The second book asks nine questions about force and motion that a teacher can use as a start to an investigation. In either case using trade books engage students into scientific inquiry.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:38 PM

This is a brief article discussing how trade books can help develop a young students conceptual knowledge of how things move. It offers two books and possible activities for elementary students. Easy to read and easy to implement. A must for teachers needing to get their young students talking about why things move.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

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