Recently, NSTA and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) announced the winners for the annual list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12 (books published in 2013). Previous year’s lists and winners also include books that are still in print and add an opportunity to create a rich reading experience for your students.
So this month’s Continue the Conversation asks the question “what is your favorite children’s or chapter trade book that you have students read or that you share with your class?” and I will go one step further in asking what aspects about the book you like and how do you use it?
In considering all of the year’s winners from the OSTB list as well as other books that I have utilized, I’m not sure I can choose just one, so will share a few of my favorites with you.
A book I just shared with the fifth grade class at our laboratory school on campus was Meredith Hooper’s The Drop in My Drink which tells the story about water on our planet. The students had just finished a unit on the water cycle and watersheds taught by one of our biology faculty members and I had been asked to add a literature connection to this in the form of a guest read aloud. This book was also featured in a previous month’s Science and Children’s Teaching Through Trade Books column titled Water Wherever and provides an activity for grades 4-6 on the water cycle.
Another recent book that I have read is a recent OSTB winner as well – Deadly –How Do You Catch an Invisible Killer. The book is reviewed in the NSTA Recommends section of the website. This chapter book for older students focuses on the process by which a young lady who secures a job as an assistant to a Department of Health inspector helps to track down the outbreak of Typhoid. Great for examining the process of science, importance of research, and the content associated with diseases.
Regardless of whether the book is read for content or pleasure, there are many opportunities to incorporate science into reading selections. Often the manner in which the excitement of the content is shared is through a good book – so as the winter month’s approach and the opportunity to curl up with a good book presents itself —what would you recommend? What is your favorite children’s book or young adult chapter book and how do you connect it to science?