Sunday, January 30, 2011

Science/Reading Connection

As stated in an earlier post I teach ELA/Reading to a homeroom class and then I teach science throughout the day. Obviously as someone who likes science I really try and look for literature that has a science theme. I go between reading a novel (or class set) and using the reading text book for our grade level. In our text book there are a few stories that have connections to what we are learning in science...we tend to read those first :)

I came across this article in Book Links magazine that highlighted quite a lot of science themed novels that I found helpful.

Normally I start my year with Top Secret by John Reynolds Gardiner. It is an easy and entertaining read for my fourth graders and talks about science fairs and photosynthesis (we don't talk about photosynthesis in our standards but our students did in third grade so I look at it as a review). I am very lucky that we have a class set of these in our system and I can order them through our inner office library loan system.

I do try and talk to our Social Studies teacher to see if can introduce any history novels as well. They aren't my favorite but she did manage to turn me on to a few (Sign of the Beaver is a favorite of my students).

At the end of the year (after state testing) I read The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (this was recommended by another fourth grade teacher). It is written by James Patterson and is fast paced and entertaining for children (particularly boys). I remember one child going straight to the local county library and getting the graphic novel tie in to the book and read the rest of the series over the summer. This isn't really science themed (more like scifi themed) but it is still a fun read with kids.

I would love to hear about any other science themed novels that people have used in the classroom.


Ms. O said...

Of course any of the rest of Carl Hiassen's kids books ... Hoot, Flush (mentioned in the article you linked), or Scat. Then My Side of the Mountain.

Wendy Mass's Every Soul a Star.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is funny and full of science references ... though it might be a little high for a fourth grade read aloud.

Eve Heaton said...

Carl Hiassen is great. Hoot is another book I read at the end of the year to the kids. I haven't read any of the other recommendations but I will definitely check them out.

Eve Heaton said...

A recent favorite of mine is Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It. The science connection is geology and rock collecting. The story is about a young boy with mixed race parents who befriends a man who is his white grandfather he's never met.

Ann said...

How do you use these "novels" with science? I'd like to know exactly how. I'm so use to using picture books that are science related.

Eve Heaton said...

Ann - I also teach ELA/Reading for my homeroom class. When I taught sixth grade science I wasn't able to incorporate it in (although I probably could have at the end of the year after state testing). The only thing I did was have lots of science based novels in my loaner library.