Teaching Physical Science With Children’s Literature: It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!


It’s Not Magic, It’s Science! by Hope Buttitta, illustrated by Tom LaBaff and Orrin Lundgren is a great book told from the perspective of a boy named Tim. Tim loves showing off his magic in front of his friends and he begins this book by explaining that magic really is science.

“Since it looks strange to see a magician wearing a lab coat (just look at Lucinda!), most scientists who perform their tricks dress up and act out a fun personality.”

Tim first lists the materials needed for each magic trick followed by detailed steps of what the magician/scientist must do. He then explains the science behind the illusion. “These tricks work because of science, from Newton’s laws of motion and Bernoulli’s principles about fluids to simple electricity, and more. So after you amaze your audience with the magic you can triple wow them with the science.”

It’s Not Magic, It’s Science! is a great book to use to demonstrate various laws of motion, fluids and electricity. Each “trick” is easily explained so that a third or fourth grade student could easily read, understand and perform them.

Curriculum Connections
It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!
is an extremely versatile book containing 50 tricks exemplifying numerous scientific concepts such as: laws of motion, fluids, simple electricity, simple machines, pressure, sound waves, and more. (VA SOL 1.2, 2.2, 3.2, 4.2, 5.2) This book will add excitement to science lessons from kindergarten through sixth grade. First and second graders will be amazed by your magic show and excited to learn the secrets behind the trick. Older students will enjoy learning the tricks inside and out and performing them for the class. I suggest having students follow up their performance with an explanation of the science for a well-rounded activity. The glossary found in the back of the book is an added bonus.

Additional Resources

Book: It’s Not Magic, It’s Science
Author: Hope Buttitta
Illustrator: Tom LaBaff and Orrin Lundgren
Publisher: Lark Books
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 80
Grade Range: useful for grades 1-6, but 3rd-4th grade reading level
ISBN: 978-1579908836

0 Responses to “Teaching Physical Science With Children’s Literature: It’s Not Magic, It’s Science!”

Comments are currently closed.