Reviewed by Marilyn Cook
Writing your own CSI script? Trying to help students understand a science concept? This book will help you help your students; the author's stories come from everyday experiences.
Science is all around us. An important comment that the author makes is "students leave science class with more positive attitudes about science... when they learn science through inductive, hands-on techniques in classrooms." So how can we help make this happen? By using stories—specifically, mysteries missing the final chapter so that students must complete them with their own experiences.
There are 15 stories in this book, with information on how to personalize them. Each chapter begins with a matrix of core concepts and then gives a story that helps students understand the concepts. Each chapter also includes related ideas from Benchmarks of Science Literacy (from AAAS) from grades K–8 as well as an explanation of how to use the stories with grades K–4 and 5–8. Related NSTA Press books, NSTA journal articles, and references are cited for each chapter.
Four chapters are included for Earth systems science and technology, five chapters for biological sciences, and six chapters for physical sciences. Additional chapters help teachers understand why using stories is beneficial, how to use this particular book and the stories included, and how to use this book in different ways (such as using the book as a content curriculum guide as well as a resource book for science methods courses). An important explanation of science and literacy is found in a chapter that will help teachers use inquiry, the language of science, science notebooks, and to work with ELL populations.
At the risk of making an unscientific comment... I love this book! It helps you put the fun back in science.
Review posted on 6/6/2011