The Science and Engineering Practices are what scientists and engineers do. So obviously we should have our students actively doing these practices in our classrooms! I’ve also found it helpful for students to see these practices modeled – and who better to model the things scientists and engineers do than the scientists and engineers themselves! An authentic way to do this is to have a scientist or engineer visit your classroom or take advantage of Zoom technology to give yourself limitless possibilities. Another way to show students how these practices are used in the real world by some of the most accomplished minds of the past and present is by reading aloud STEM career picture books (biographies).
An exemplar text for highlighting the science and engineering practice of Engaging in Argument from Evidence is: Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson. This detailed picture book tells the story of environmental activist Rachel Carson and her battle to ban DDT around the world because of its negative impacts on the environment. Rachel Carson was the first to discover the link between DDT and harm caused to organisms from the top of the food chain to the bottom- including humans. She used data to make the connection between the insecticide and its harmful effects and used that evidence to support her argument that it should be banned. Have fun introducing your students to the power of evidence plays in the ability to successfully argue for a cause that impacts the health of both humans and ecosystems around the world.
Looking for additional science texts? Check out StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way, our library of K-5 science informational texts that can be customized to meet specific Common Core ELA standards. Each 1st – 5th grade text has multiple reading levels so all of your students can read the same content independently.
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And if you are looking for additional picture books for your science classroom, check out the Perfect Picture Book Pairing Series that includes one-page guides with activities and discussion questions for hundreds of STEM-themed picture books aligned to every NGSS performance expectation!
Be sure to check out the other posts in this series to discover picture books to highlight each of the eight science and engineering practices in the NGSS!