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 Planning and Conducting an Investigation is: Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by Cheryl Bardoe. This text is a standout for the way in which it describes the investigations Mendel designed. Through the author’s descriptions, students can experience this science and engineering practice in action and learn how Gregor Mendel’s pea plant experiments laid the foundation for our knowledge about heredity and genetics.
Have fun introducing your students to the concept of genetics while emphasizing to them how real life scientists design investigations to learn about the world around us!
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!