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 questioning is: On A Beam of Light: The Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne. This text chronicles the life of Albert Einstein by emphasizing his passion for asking questions. The text shows how Einstein wasn’t seeking the right answers as much as he was seeking the right questions.
Have fun introducing your students to one of the greatest scientific minds of all time while emphasizing to them that asking questions is the most important step in scientific discovery!
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!