Hey everyone! What time is it? Science time!
I am excited to tell you about two books that might come in handy if you are teaching science to elementary school students. I was lucky enough to get a look at them thanks to Educents and Dover Publications and I have some details about each and my thoughts.
First: The BOOST Books My First Human Body Coloring Book
This is the cover of the BOOST edition, which has 36 pages and is $4.99. You can download a teacher's guide for free which is 5 pages long.
This version is $3.99, and there is an ebook available, for less. There is no teacher guide or lesson plans with this version. The one I looked at was the BOOST version one above.
Included in this book are pages about many parts of the body and body functions such as the process of digestion, the brain and nerves, breathing, the heart and the 5 senses. I like that this book offers a detailed explanation of the 5 senses and tells how they work instead of many science books which seem to just state what the 5 senses are. My second graders already know what the 5 senses are- they would be able to learn something new about them from this book.
Honestly, the teacher's guide was a little disappointing. It was 5 pages long, but 1 page was the cover, and 2 pages were the alignment to common core standards, which is important, but that left only 2 pages of an actual teacher's guide. The 2 pages of activity suggestions include activities related to: main idea, making suggestions, and writing (I do like that they broke down writing into 3 types: informative, narrative, and opinion). There were a few neat writing ideas including a fun idea to write about what a story about what a day without bones would be like. Vocabulary activities were also mentioned but there was not much there. For example, there was 1 suggestion on teaching word structure using the word soupy. This could be an area to improve in the future.
Here is what a couple of the pages look like when printed out. The BOOST Books: My First Human Body Book could be really great and a classroom teacher or homeschooler could benefit from it, even without looking at the teacher's guide. I have a friend who has a 6 year old daughter who would love this book. Even though my school does not teach the human body in second grade, if you do, it might be worth a look.
There are other books in the BOOST series too, such as this one.
Tabletop Scientist: The Science of Water
The other book I got a look at was Tabletop Scientist: The Science of Water. It has 25 pages and is $6.99 and is aimed for slightly older students - maybe grades 3-6. Here is the cover:
If you're getting a science text to use with your class you have to know what it includes. In the table of contents, I can see it covers a lot of ground:Water Cycle
Heavy and Thick
Disappearing into Water
Float and Sink
History of Water
This style of this text is reminiscent of the style of encyclopedia like books for children such as the DK series.
Each page has an explanation of a water-related phenomena and an experiment. Many of the experiments use mostly easy to find materials such as soda bottles, clay, and straws. A few experiments require items that a classroom teacher may or may not have like a beaker, but you could replace with something else. A few include supplies I would not know where to get, like muslin, but I bet if I asked a few other teachers at my school someone could tell me a store, place, or person who would have some.Some activities would be easier to do at home than school. For example, not every classroom teacher has access to a freezer at school.
Overall, you can could do most of these in a classroom with a little advanced planning, rounding up supplies, and prep work.
The text includes activities and experiments such a color a flower. If you want an idea of what the experiment is like, Mom to 2 Posh Lil' Divas has a similar experiment on her blog in her 10 Flower Experiment post here.
Another fun experiment involves making a clay boat.
Here is a peek at what one of the activity pages looks like printed out. You can print it in color also but I am running low on color ink.
My take on this is that is would be pretty handy to have this text if you are teaching water (and related topics like the properties of matter). It has a lot of great activities. You'd need to read through and see what is relevant to what your goals are and just prep materials. My students love any activities that get them experimenting so they would have a blast.
If you like this type of text, Tabletop Scientist also has others in the series such as:
Here are a couple of other science books and resources you may want to look into:
So what are your favorite texts or resources to teach science? Beyond what your school gives you, that is? Anything you can share? Please comment below.
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