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 Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information is: Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating. This text follows the life of ichthyologist Eugenie Clark and her life long passion for sharks. Students are able to observe how Eugenie gathers information about sharks and then uses that data to argue for their protection around the world.
Have fun introducing your students to using the power of obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information to affect positive change for both ourselves and other life forms! If students would like to know more about the importance of sharks to an ecosystem, you could pair this text with: If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams which explores the interconnectedness of life by describing the chain reaction of events that could happen if sharks disappeared from the planet. The picture book is featured in this post that describes five picture books perfect for highlighting the crosscutting concept of Stability and Change.
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.
Not a subscriber? Click here for a free trial to access our entire library of texts.
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!