Reviewed by Nancy McDonough
1st and 2nd Grade Teacher
This is the book we've all been waiting for! In it, the authors develop 15 new K-4 science units around the readings of two picture books, one narrative and the other informational. Both the science and the literacy instruction are research-based, drawing from best practices in each discipline.
Chapters follow a clear, easy-to-manage pattern. First, the two trade books are presented along with the science standards. A simple materials list follows, including websites from which reasonably priced supplies can be purchased. Then (and what a blessing this is!), the teacher is provided with background information to support the unit. Essential concepts are briskly stated for easy understanding.
Next, in the “engage” phase (from the 5E's model developed by BSCS), reading of the narrative is coupled with at least one of 20 specific comprehension strategies that include using an anticipation guide, developing an O-W-L chart, visualizing, and questioning.
To “explore” the concepts under study, a classroom investigation follows. This investigation is “explained” and “elaborated” by the reading of the informational text and by additional hands-on investigation. “Evaluation” takes the form of performance tasks. And the package comes complete with blackline masters ready for student use.
Each section is rich with additional resources, including "Inquiry Place" listing additional testable questions related to the topic. I am so enthusiastic about this book that I am going to teach the unit on “Wiggling Worms” on Monday morning. My second graders are going to love it!
Review posted on 5/11/2007