Are you searching for that perfect picture book to read aloud at the beginning of the year that will encouraging your students to become young scientists and engineers? Here are a few of my favorites to jumpstart the curious minds in your classroom!
What’s in Your Pocket: Collecting Nature’s Treasures by Heather L. Montgomery spotlights nine scientists and what they may have collected as kids that made them ask questions that led to groundbreaking discoveries. This text is the perfect springboard to a nature walk in which the students start their own collections or an activity that involves classifying and sorting collections. What questions do your students have about nature?
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires is sure to get your students to don their engineering hats and think creatively to invent their own magnificent things! The text chronicles one girls failures, frustrations, and ultimate success as she strives to invent the most magnificent thing!
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty is a more well-known choice that pairs engaging text with creative illustrations that will hold the attention of even your most reluctant listener! Ada Twist asks questions. Lots of questions! Then she designs research to test hypotheses about the source of a very stinky smell! This text drives home the most important aspect of scientific thinking: asking questions! What questions do your students want to investigate this year? Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, from the same series, is another excellent choice to inspire the budding engineers in your classroom. Iggy Peck is an architect from birth, and his skills come in handy one day during a field trip emergency. And Rosie Revere, Engineer also by Andrea Beaty will show your students that failure should be welcomed and celebrated!
What to Do With a Box by Jane Yolen and Not a Box by Antoinette Portis are a pair of texts perfect for getting your students thinking about outside of the box uses for everyday objects. Can you say tinker space and maker space?! Since the texts give students so many examples with boxes, either give your students boxes to create with before reading the texts, or provide them with alternative common items such as toilet paper rolls or plastic water bottles and see what they can imagine!
Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin is sure to both amuse and inspire the young engineers in your classroom as a team of intelligent squirrels figure out how to outwit and eventually befriend a bird-loving neighbor.
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!
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