Today we are going to talk a bit about using picture books to teach science.
Let's get started!
Please tell me you know Gail Gibbons! Her science books are unbelievable! The text features that she uses are so interesting for students (and adults)! She definitely makes learning about science fun!
In Georgia (where I'm from), learning about the phases of the moon is a 4th grade standard. I always use The Moon Book to give the kiddos a grasp on how those phases are formed! I would always read the book and then we make our own moon flip books.
You can also never go wrong with The Pumpkin Book. It has such cute illustrations and text features about the life cycle of a pumpkin!
Another type of book I like using in science are the National Geographic for Kids. They have great photographs and are easy for the students to read and understand. They are always expanding their titles. If you have something you are teaching, you should check what they have available. Here are some titles that I know can fit into science curriculum.
Even though this is level 1 reading, it still contains enough information to keep my 4th graders interested. Level 1 is usually suitable for 1st-2nd graders.
To use these, I have different readers (some from National Geo. and some from our science series) assigned to groups of 4. The group of 4 is responsible for reading the text and creating a visual to present the important facts from the reader to the class. Since the readers are different for each group, each group presents different information. They love this because they feel like they are the teacher!
Here's another one of my favorites. This is a level 2 reader so it contains more challenging vocabulary and is most suitable for 2nd-4th graders. The level 3 reader can be used for up to 6th grade. Take a look at those photos!
Since the interest level on these is high for students, they are also great readers for your struggling readers!
Lastly, I wanted to include a teaching resource that incorporates mentor texts into every single lesson. Have you heard of Picture-Perfect Science Lessons for the K-6 classroom? These are science experiments/activities that incorporate picture books to help teach science concepts. The entire lesson plan is included with each activity. All you have to do is gather the mentor text and supplies. Plan ahead and have your students bring supplies from home. Most of the mentor texts used can be found in your school or local library!