Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature: Touch It! Materials, Matter and You


“Touch it! is a lively and easy-to-understand first science book that explores materials-their color, shape, texture, size, mass, magnetism, and more.”

Touch it! Materials, Matter, and You written by Adrienne Mason and illustrated by Claudia Davila covers a lot of information on physical science, but breaks it down for the primary grade levels. It starts by explaining to the children that our world is filled with different types of materials, and talks about how you can see, feel, describe the different materials. There is also hands on activities throughout the book to help children gain a better understanding of the content. The pictures are very bright and colorful, and the author asks questions, such as, “In this picture, What kinds of textures do the objects and creatures in this farmyard have?” So, it allows the children to be active learners. This book goes on to talk about the mass of materials, magnetic materials, using materials, stretchy materials, and materials around us. Like I said, this book covers a lot of information, but each section has a brief description and a great hands on activity to go along with it. At the very end there is a special section for parents and teachers to find more activity ideas and information to help adults and teachers answer young learners’ questions.

Curriculum Connections

This book is great for your primary grade levels. It helps to teach children about materials, their properties, and their uses. The book gives you hands on activities you can use that go along with the information being talked about, or you could come up with some of your own activities to follow along with the information. For example, the section about texture, you can find objects for the students to feel and have them touch and describe how they feel, and them compare the different objects. Also, ask the students how the texture relates to how the object is used. (PS.1)  Another great idea to pull from this book is talking about floating materials. You can demostarte the buoyancy by placing different objects into a bowl of water in front the class, or let the children get into groups and do it on their own. This is a fun activity, and will keep the students attention. (PS.2)

Additional Resources

Why does a boat float? Here you will find a buoyancy activity for children. The kids get a chance to be hands on and find out on their own why boats float. It is a messy experiment, but the kids will love it!

Magnetic Experiments At this website, you will find several different magnetic experiments. I believe children need to be active learners, and these are great experiments the children can do to get a better understanding on magnets. Also, most of them are very simple and can be done in a short amount of time.

Physical Science Activities This is a great resource for teachers. There are crossword puzzles, printables, and other material for teachers to use in their classroom to review and learn about physical science.

General Information

Book: Touch It! Materials, Matter and You
Author: Adrienne Mason
Illustrator: Claudia Davila
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication date: 2005
Pages: 32
Grade Range: 1-5
ISBN: 1-55337-760-5

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