The Reasons For Seasons is written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons. The book opens by explaining how the tilt of the Earth causes the seasons. It depicts the tilted Earth rotating around the sun. The book then talks about each season and its characteristics with five pages of illustrations and explanations. At the end, the book talks about how areas near the equator have little temperature change during the year. It also explains how the North and South Poles are always cold and how it is always dark at the pole during parts of the winter and always light in the summer.
Curriculum Connections: The book can be used for teaching the patterns of natural events (seasonal changes) and the causes of the seasons. SOL 3.8(a), 4.7(b). It would be great as an anticipatory set because it is very colorful and interesting. It will prepare students for diving in deeper during the following lesson plan.
Book: The Reasons for Seasons
Author: Gail Gibbons
Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House
Grade Range: 3-5
Check It Out! Forces and Motion is written by Clint Twist. It is a short book that introduces force and motion to students with great color photographs of people and animals. It explains direction, force, friction, motion, position, slopes, and speed with real-world examples. The left page explains a new topic and the right page asks the reader a question regarding the topic. The answers with explanatory photos are in the back of the book. There is also a glossary with a kid-friendly pronunciation guide.
Curriculum Connections: This book would be a great introduction book for grades K-3. It describes pushing and pulling and how that can change the movement of an object. It discusses slopes which would be an introduction to simple machines such as an inclined plane and wedge. VA Science SOL 1.2(c) and 3.2.
SCIENCE ONLINE is a great website for students. It covers many different topics of science. It has a page on force and motion. The site provides lesson plans for teachers, interactive games for students, science video clips and worksheets. It’s your one-stop shop for all things science!
This Harcout website has great interactive videos for science. It divides the activities by grade level. The physical science activities are at the bottom of the page.
Forces Make Things Move is another great book on force, push, pull, friction and gravity. This book is more advanced. It would be appropriate for grades 3-5. It uses interesting examples that students should be able to easily conceptualize. It is written by Kimberly Bradley and illustrated by Paul Meisel.
An Invisible Force: The Quest to Define the Laws of Motion talks about the lengths scientists had to go from 1493 through the 1600’s to tell the world about gravity, stars and the solar system. This books gives students the background on who made these discoveries, how the rest of the world came to learn of them and how important the discoveries are in modern day life. This book would be appropriate for grade 5 and beyond. The back of the book has a glossary and scientific websites. National Air and Space Museum has a site that explains ‘How Things Fly.’
Another website has a more in depth discussion on Sir Isaac Newton and the laws of gravity.
Book: Check It Out! Forces and Motion
Author: Clint Twist
Illustrator: Clint Twist
Publisher: Bearport Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication Date: 2006
Grade Range: K-3
What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? is written by Robin Page and illustrated by Steve Jenkins. The book shows students that different types of animals use their eyes, nose, ears, tails, mouths and feet in very different ways. This book can be very interactive. The first page for each body part has an almost 3-D picture of the body part of five different animals. Students can try to guess what animal the part belongs to. When you turn the page it shows the full animal and tells you how the animal uses that body part.
Each use is very unique and interesting. For example: a cricket hears with his ears that are on his knees, a bat “sees” with his ears, a jackrabbit uses his ears to keep cool, a humpback whale can hear sounds hundreds of miles away with his ears and a hippopotamus closes his ears when he’s under water. The back of the book gives more details about each of the 30 animals.
Curriculum Connections: This book would be useful when teaching physical characteristics of animals. SOL 1.5(b). It shows that animals have physical adaptations that allow them to respond to certain life needs. SOL 3.4. The book can also be used as an introduction to habitats. SOL 2.5.
Here’s the author’s website. It lists all of his books and has a resources page with links to other websites.
SmithLifeScience.com is a great resource for teachers. It has multiple pages on different subjects within life science. The link takes you directly to a page devoted to answering the question: What is Life? It has 7 days worth of lesson plans, worksheets and activities for this subject.
Seeing, Hearing and Smelling the World is a page on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute website. This is a good site for teachers to learn more about the senses to prepare for lesson plans and questions from students. This site was in the back of the book Making Sense of Senses. This book is full of experiments for elementary students.
Education World has a ton of lesson plans on life science. Amusing Animal Adaptations works for grades 3-5.
Book: What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?
Author: Robin Page
Illustrator: Steve Jenkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Publication Date: 2003
Grade Range: k-3