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Elementary Science

Book Recommendation

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Lauren Podlas Lauren Podlas 730 Points

I was thinking of doing an anchor activity in my classroom for those early finishers. In my first unit of study- "building blocks of science" (scientific method, etc.) I was thinking of having my anchor activity be choosing a scientist and writing a bio/ filling out some type of form chart on the scientist. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendation on books about scientists- for a 5th grade level, that I could have in an area for students to use to complete this type of activity? The internet would be a great resource for this type of activity but there is very limited computer access in my classroom. Thanks!

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 91561 Points

Hi Lauren and welcome to the Discussion Forums! I thought you might be interested in a thread that was started a few months ago called: General Science and Teaching > Facebook Page Project on Scientists . You will find some interesting ideas for how to learn about scientists being shared there. Also, there is an article in the NSTA Learning Center about virtual visits with scientists that might be helpful. (That way you won't have to go out and purchase a book...) The article is called: A Field Trip Without Buses: Connecting Your Students to Scientists Through a Virtual Visit
When I did an Advance Search in the NLC, using 'scientist' as the keyword and filtiering it for 'lesson plans' under 'type of learning resource',over 50 resources appeared. When I did an advance search using 'trade book scientist' and 'e-journal articles', I discovered that there were 16 resources. The article, 'Inspiring Future Scientists' sounded promising. This article, Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K—12 (Books Published in 2007: TST)' contains a list of potential books for you to consider.
I hope this helps.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Lauren,

Welcome to the forums! I have a few scientist biographies that I've used with my students, hopefully some of these are what you are looking for:

Famous Experiments and How to Repeat Them by Brent Filson
Five Secrets in a Box by Catherine Brighton
Galileo by Leonard Everett Fisher
Marie Curie, Brave Scientist by Karen Milone
Medicine: Great Lives by Robert H. Curtis, M.D.
Albert Einstein by Karen Ireland
Black Pioneers of Science and Innovation by Louis Haber
Lewis Howard Latimer by Glennette Tilley Turner

Some of these books are pretty long, but they are all interesting books. If you are looking for something a little shorter, another great option that I love, love, love is Kids Discover Magazine. These are quick easy reads with lots of pictures and fantastic articles.

There's also a great discussion in the forums about Anchor Charts in Science that might have some helpful information.

Good Luck with everything!


Amy Banks Amy Banks 4385 Points

How about Great Scientists in Action by Ed Shevick?
Haven't used it myself, but looks pretty cool on!
Good luck and GREAT idea.

Lauren Podlas Lauren Podlas 730 Points

Thank you everyone!

Meagan Beach Meagan Beach 3175 Points

Another series to look into is the Who Was/Is. There are biographies about several different scientists your students could use, and the series also has books on a bunch of other famous people that could be used for other subjects. They don't all have the same author, but that link will give you an idea of the series I'm referring to. The grade level is 3-5, so the content may not be as in depth as you were hoping for, but it could definitely work as a starting point. Good luck!

Melody Shaw Melody Shaw 4880 Points

Such great resources shared!! I not only have my students look up and write about scientist, but I also have them think of an area of science that they might one day enjoy working in. I use the following section from Science Buddies- The kids love how it gives so much information about each career area. I have always been able to find something that my students would love to learn more about because this site has so many to look at.

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25635 Points

Don't forget to check out NSTA's trade books; there may be some titles that are about scientists.

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