Teaching Physical Science With Children’s Literature: The Science Book of Energy


Have you ever wondered how objects move or change? Or even pondered how electricity or sound travel through the air? From the literal sense of how energy is part of our everyday to how to build a battery from scratch, The Science Book of Energy defines what energy is and how it is an important part of the environment.  Written by Neil Ardley, The Science Book of Energy brings the world of energy to life with colorful photography and eleven hands-on experiments. The illustrations help introduce and capture an excellent explanation of heat, movement, sound, and how energy is stored.

Energy is the reason that a house can remain lit when the sun has gone down.  It is also the reason that we are able to enjoy heat in our homes during the winter seasons.  Energy allows many of the actions and movements that we usually take for granted.  The Science Book of Energy is a way for children to learn about the type of energy and literally watch it come to life.  The book has step-by-step experiments to show how energy is changed from one form to another.  For example, “motion is a form of energy called kinetic energy”.  The book includes and an experiment on kinetic energy which defines the motion of objects.  Children are able to build their own windmill and watch the energy take place.  The handmade windmill is then related to modern windmills that convert kinetic energy into electrical energy.  The Science Book of Energy helps children to see and understand how energy works.

Curriculum Connections
The Science Book of Energy helps children to learn by experience in a way that they can relate to and understand.  The book covers types of energy from heat, light, and sound.  Throughout the book, children are able to complete hands-on experiments, vibrant colors, and action filled pages.  The Science Book of Energy may be used in a classroom setting to incorporate kinetic and potential energy into a lesson.  The Science Book of Energy is perfect for a classroom setting because it incorporates more than the average elementary readings.

The Science Book of Energy is closely related to SOL’s for grades two through four.  Students are able to investigate and understand different types of energy (3.11).   The book also discusses the movement of objects and how energy takes place (4.2).  The reading covers a general basis for a traditional physical science lesson.  It averages in the range of grades by allowing the teacher to either focus on energy in terms of simple movement, for example with paper and a wire, to an actual power source, for example a battery.

Additional Resources 

  • What is Energy?- Learn what energy is and how it works.  This site includes information for teachers, such as, energy facts, fun and games, energy history, and related classroom activities.
  • Small Engineers and Elementary Science Tools-This website contains an activity book for not only a child’s learning , but also for their enjoyment as well.  It allows children to learn about energy in an enjoyable fashion.
  • Potential and Kinetic Energy-This provides information for other materials relating to measurement at an advanced level that may be used in a classroom setting.

Book: The Science Book Of Energy
Neil Ardley
Dave King
Harcourt Brace Javonovich Publishers
Publication Date:
29 pages
Grade Range: