Teaching Physical Science With Children’s Literature: Force, Of Course!

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Force, Of Course, written by Mary Leontovich and illustrated by James Cloutier, is a physical science book for students with a focus on force & gravity.  The book begins with an introduction about what force is and the different types of force that exist. The book is then broken down into chapters, from Chapter 1-Chapter 10. Each chapter explains a different kind of force then has a few simple experiments that can be conducted as an example of that type of force. The book is written in a kid friendly manner but is also written from a scientific standpoint. The book is very comprehensive and includes safety tips and also a section on how to conduct experiments and what to do if they do not work. The illustrations that accompany the text are fun and also include little cartoon characters, which I think would help to keep the less then impressed by science students engaged in the reading.

Curriculum Connections
Force, Of Course is a great resource for children who are interested in learning (or required to learn about) more about the force element within the study of physical science. The fact that the book is filled with factual information but more importantly engaging and hands-on experiments makes it a great resource for a teacher to use with his/her students. Another neat facet of this book is the text bubbles/boxes throughout the pages that have the caption “Investigate Some More” that allow the reader to further investigate the different aspects of force through miniature experiments. A lot of the activities within these little boxes/bubbles are super easy and could easily be done at home. A fun idea to incorporate this book into the curriculum and also have the students learn more might be to assign the students one of the pages with a bubble on it and then have the children go home and conduct this activity/experiment. You could have the students record their findings in a science journal and then report them to the class. This would be a good way to have children conduct some basic science experiments on their own but also allow them to share their knowledge with their families and peers.

I think this book would be ideal for grades 1-3 depending on the depth of material you (as a teacher) expect to cover. The content of this book best satisfies VA SOL 1.2    The student will investigate and understand that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion, (a), (b), and (c).

Additional Resources

  • This handout would be ideal for a take home activity (homework) or something you could do with a class as a whole
  • Super fun interactive website that is great for kids to explore to learn more about force
  • This website is a great resource for finding more information along with activities and experiments having to do with force & motion. Would be great for parents, teachers, and children alike!

Book: Force, Of Course
Author:
Mary Leontovich
Illustrator: James Cloutier
Publisher: Good Year Books
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 42 pages
Grade Range: 1-3
ISBN:0-673-36213-2