Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature: What is the World Made Of?


Introduction and Summary:

  • In the book, What is the World Made of by Kathleen Zoehfeld it describes the three states of matter solid, liquid and gas. The book then goes on to state each one of the matters attributes. This book introduces young readers to important science concepts. For example the book teaches children the difference between solids, liquids and gas. The book uses simplestic concepts like why a child cannot walk through a wall to help the child better understand science. This book is great for K-3 because of the colorful illustrations and easy concepts for children to grasp.

 Curriculum Connections:

  • This book introduces young children to the basics of science and help satisfy their curiosity about how science works. K.1a) By looking at all three matters you can identify there physical state by direct observation. K.2b) Sensory descriptors. In the book they use perfume to describe how you can smell it in different parts of a room when the top is taken off the bottle. 1.1a) The senses are used to to observe different physical properties. For example when you put water in a ice tray one can observe the water changing to a solid when put in the freezer.

Additional Resources:

  • Solids, Liquids and Gases– This lesson allows students to distinguish between liquids, solids and gases. The students will observe experiments. The students will also be able to identify some of the physical properties of each of them
  • What is Matter ?- This three minute video allows students to learn more about liquids, solids and gases. Singing Karaoke about the three matters will help the students understand a new way of learning.
  • Matter– This site defines the three stages of matter. There are activities and videos to further explain the three different stages of matter.

Additional Resources:

Book: What is the World Made of?

Author: Kathleen Zoehfeld

Illustrated: Paul Meisel

Publication Date: 1998

Pages: 4-32

Grade Range: k-3

ISBN: 0-06-445163-1

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