Using Childrens Literature to Teach Standard Based Science

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Concepts in Early Years

This article discusses the benefits and limitations of using children's literature in introducing science concepts to young children. It also provides also provides an overview of preschool science standards of 12 states and lists of suitable children's literature that a teacher can use to teach science concepts to preschool students.

The benefits of using children's literature to teach science are that it provides content knowledge and allows student to develop science process skills. it also helps to spark children's curiosity and offers opportunities for inquiry. The fact that children's literature is presented in narrative form helps children to understand difficult science concepts. Using children's literature to teach science makes learning more relevant by putting the science concepts and process skills in a context that is more meaningful for children. Children's literature supports children's science learning by offering opportunities to make observations, raise questions, and reach conclusions from evidence in an environment that is meaningful.

The limitations of using children's literature to teach science is that often certain concepts presented create misconceptions among children. The anthropomorphism found in many trade books might lead children to think that animals or inanimate objects really can talk like humans. Also the language and illustrations used in children's literature, such as implying that humans are not an animal species or illustrations that depict the moon only during the nighttime, might also present a source of misconceptions.

I chose this article because it talked about how useful it is to use children's literature to teach science and it was interesting. The limitations that arise when using trade books was quite interesting to me and had never crossed my mind. I felt like I could actually take something from this article and apply it to my career later in life.

The information presented is very clear. Concrete evidence was provided from the studies that were done on children learning science. It was also interesting to look at the tables and see some children's books that can be used to teach science and their limitations. The tables are relevant to elementary educators in that they can use the tables to help them choose quality children's books and also teach educators how to look for misconceptions that are present in them so that they can point them out to their students to give accurate representations of information.

This article changes the way that I teach because usually if I read a book to a child that has animals that talk, I never really explain to them that it doesn't happen in real life. It never occurred to me that some kids might actually be confused and think that animals speak to each other in that way. The article also forces me to take a closer look at books that present difficult concepts and make sure that every thing that is presented in them is accurate and doesn't lead to my students developing misconceptions. Overall, the article just makes me more of aware of how influential literature can be on children so I need to be careful what I read to my students and also be sure to ask them questions so that I understand their thinking and know that they aren't walking away with information that isn't true.

Related Books

Dirt by Steve "The Dirtmeister" Tomecek

This book discusses how soil is made, how soil changes, and this different soil layers. The book also tells readers how important soil is to humanity and we as dependents on soil can help protect it. The book relates to the article because it portrays animals with human like qualities which can confuse younger children, but the all the other information in the book is quite accurate. It proves that the article is correct that presenting scientific material through a book like this can help students understand the information better. The book can be used in the classroom by performing the dirt experiments in the back of the book as a class. One of the experiments involves making a ecosystem out of very simple materials.

The Magic School bus and the Science Fair Expedition by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

This book presents information about great scientists such as Newton, Einstein, and Galileo. It also explains to the readers what science is and how to apply the scientific method in a fun way. It relates to the article it does spark curiosity in readers and presents information in a narrative form which would make it easier for children to understand. It could also provide misconceptions since the character went back in time to visit the famous scientists and also traveled in a flying bus. I'd use the book in the classroom to teach about the scientific method before giving my students a science project and to help them understand how influential the mentioned scientists' work still is today.

Mission to Mars by Franklyn M. Brantley

The book talks about the characteristics of Mars, its history, and what it would be like if Humans could live on there. Once again the book is presented in a narrative form and provides accurate information to the readers, therefore it relates to the article. I could use the book to introduce one planet in the solar system and could have my students write a story of how life for them would be on Mars based in the information provided in the book.

Article: Sackes, M., Trundle,K, Flevares,L (2009) Using Children's Literature to Teach Standard-Based Science Concepts in Early Years, Early Childhood Education.

This article discusses the benefits and limitations of using children's literature in introducing science concepts to young children. It also provides also provides an overview of preschool science standards of 12 states and lists of suitable children's literature that a teacher can use to teach science concepts to preschool students.

Dirt by Steve "The Dirtmeister" Tomecek

This book discusses how soil is made, how soil changes, and this different soil layers. The book also tells readers how important soil is to humanity and we as dependents on soil can help protect it. Awards: Arizona Young Reader's Award, 2007

The Magic School bus and the Science Fair Expedition by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

This book presents information about great scientists such as Newton, Einstein, and Galileo. It also explains to the readers what science is and how to apply the scientific method in a fun way. Awards: Garden State Childrens Book Award, 2009

Mission to Mars by Franklyn M. Brantley

The book talks about the characteristics of Mars, its history, and what it would be like if Humans could live there. Awards: Best Children's book of the Year, 2003

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