One of the ways that teachers can reinforce science thinking and cultivate passion in students is simple. Read a book! From reading books aloud after recess to stocking the classroom library, books can be an important addition to your science curriculum.
Below is a sampling of books that are guaranteed to pique students’ interest. With summer on the way, there's no better time to get your students reading ... about science!
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard written by Loree Griffin Burns with photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz
With a project for every season, this colorful book shows how anyone can help gather data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count or FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, an urban park or your own backyard. Put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. Tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs!
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating human understanding of the universe. Full of curiosity, laughter and scientific discovery, this is a moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.
Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton
All around the world — in the sea, in the soil, in the air, and in the human body — there are living things so tiny that millions could fit on an ant’s antenna. Students see how microorganisms do all sorts of things, from causing colds to making yogurt to eroding mountains to helping creating breathable air.
Gravity by Jason Chin
Deceptively simple text makes the complex subject of gravity brilliantly accessible to young readers. Important vocabulary and relevant comparisons balance colorfully detailed landscapes and close-up illustrations that describe how gravity affects all things on Earth as well as in outer space.
When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story (Once, in America) written by Linda Crotta Brennan and illustrated by Lisa Greenleaf
Once, in America... chemicals killed plants and animals. Cars and factories filled the air with toxic fumes. Oil spills destroyed ocean life. The sewage floating along America's rivers was so thick it sometimes caught fire. Senator Gaylord Nelson believed that attitudes about ecology could change if people understood what was happening and charged student organizer, Denis Hayes, with setting a plan for a national Earth Day in motion.
One Small Step by P.B. Kerr
Thirteen-year-old Scott has learned a lot from his Dad — an ace pilot and flying instructor. When Scott adeptly lands a damaged plane on his own, NASA thinks he might just be the ideal candidate for a practice mission to space. Will Scott become the first teenager in space?
Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney
Mitty Blake is mostly interested in biology because his crush, Olivia, is in the same class. After procrastinating on his Advance Bio report, he feels lucky to find some old medical books in his family’s weekend home. When an envelope, with dried-up scabs, falls out of the books, the story turns into a riveting bioterrorism thriller.
Something Stinks! by Gail Hedrick
Dead fish are washing ashore on the Higdon River, and seventh grader Emily Sanders decides to find out why. Mocked by her fellow students and abandoned by her best friend, Emily investigates farms, a golf course, and local factories. Gradually she persuades friends to help her test the waters. Their investigations lead them into trouble with the law and confrontation with the town’s most powerful citizen. Can a handful of determined seventh graders find out the true source of the stink in the Higdon River?
Deadly written by Julie Chibbaro and illustrated by Jean-Marc Superville Sovak
In a fictional take on one of the greatest medical mysteries of the 20th century, sixteen-year-old Prudence Galewski becomes involved with the hunt for “Typhoid Mary.” The volatile Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home ravaged by typhoid fever, is outwardly perfectly healthy. Are the accusations wrong? Or is Mary the first clue in a new scientific discovery?
Feed by M.T. Anderson
In this society the human brain cyberfeed provides an endless stream of information, entertainment and advertising. When Violet’s feed is disrupted, she’s cast adrift and everyone is forced to examine the power of the feed in their life.
The Wild Trees by Richard Preston
Three buddies on spring break climb into a California redwood and discover a new ecosystem atop the trees. Join this group of young scientists in the canopy as they learn safe climbing techniques for the oldest and tallest trees of North America, and encounter new species of plants, animals … and love.