By: Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan
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Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, Expanded 2nd Edition: Using Children's Books to Guide Inquiry, 3-6
2011 EXCEL Award Bronze Winner
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
based on 4 reviews
|Publication Title:||Picture-Perfect Science Series
|Grade Level:||Elementary School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Earthlets: Dr. Xargle's Book of Earthlets and Seven Blind Mice
Using Picture-Perfect Science Lessons in your classroom is easier than ever! NSTA’s ClassPacks, each
sufficient for a class of 28 students, are lesson-specific collections of materials—an unmatched
time-saver and a great deal.
[Click here to view all ClassPacks]
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
Winner of 2011 Bronze EXCEL Award from Association Media & Publishing!
How do you improve upon perfection? For years, new and experienced elementary school teachers alike have extolled the virtues of Picture-Perfect Science Lessons—the expertly combined appeal of children’s picture books with Standards-based science content. The award-winning, bestselling book presents ready-to-teach lessons, complete with student pages and assessments, that use high-quality fiction and nonfiction
picture books to guide hands-on science inquiry.
This newly revised and expanded 2nd edition of Picture-Perfect Science Lessons manages to surpass the original. Classroom veterans Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan, who also coach teachers through nationwide workshops, know elementary educators are usually crunched for science instructional time and could often use refresher explanations of scientific concepts. So the authors added comprehensive background notes to each chapter and included new reading strategies.
They still show you exactly how to combine science and reading in a natural way with classroom-tested lessons in physical science, life science, and Earth and space science. And now they offer five brand-new lessons—“Batteries Included,” “The Secrets of Flight,” “Down the Drain,” “If I Built a Car,” and “Bugs!”—bringing the total to 20. As always, the appropriate National Science Education Standards are clearly identified throughout.
Picture-Perfect Science Lessons draws on such diverse—and engaging—books as Dr. Xargle’s Book of Earthlets, A House for Hermit Crab, Rice Is Life, Oil Spill!, Sheep in a Jeep, The Perfect Pet, and Weird Friends: Unlikely Allies in the Animal Kingdom. As a result, both reluctant scientists and struggling readers will quickly find themselves absorbed in scientific discovery. You’ll love how effective this book is, and your students will love learning about science.
For more information on how to implement Picture-Perfect Science in you classroom—including key reading strategies and NSES connections—download the free e-book of chapters 1 through 5, Why Read Picture Books in Science Class?
(mouse over for full classification)
Phases of the moon
Scientific habits of mind
Using scientific equipment
|Intended User Role:||College/University Professor (preservice science education), Curriculum Supervisor, Elementary-Level Educator, Informal Educator, New Teacher, Parent, Professional Development Provider, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Assessment of students, Classroom management, Curriculum, Inclusion, Informal education, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Interdisciplinary, Learning theory, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies
About the Authors
About the Picture-Perfect Science Program
Lessons by Grade
1. Why Read Picture Books in Science Class?
2. Reading Aloud
3. Teaching Science Through Inquiry
4. BSCS 5E Instructional Model
5. National Science Education Standards
7. Name That Shell!
8. Rice Is Life
9. What’s Poppin’?
10. Mystery Pellets
11. Close Encounters of the Symbiotic Kind
12. Turtle Hurdles
13. Oil Spill!
14. Sheep in a Jeep
15. Sounds of Science
16. Chemical Change Café
17. The Changing Moon
18. Day and Night
19. Grand Canyon
20. Brainstorms: From Idea to Invention
22. Batteries Included
23. The Secrets of Flight
24. Down the Drain
25. If I Built a Car
This Title Also Available as Part of a Set:
||Set: Picture-Perfect, Expanded 2nd Edition, and the Picture-Perfect, Expanded 2nd Edition Science Book Collection
|This set includes Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, Expanded 2nd Edition and the Picture-Perfect, Expanded 2nd Edition Science Book Collection. This set equips the teacher with the lesson book plus all 38 trade books that are used in the individual lessons.
The Picture-Perfect, Expanded 2nd Edition, Science Book Collection portion of this set includes these children’s trade books: • Dr. Xargle's Book of Earthlets • Seven Blind Mice • Seashells by the Seashore • A House for Hermit Crab • Rice Is Life • Rice • Popcorn! • White Owl, Barn Owl • Butternut Hollow Pond • What’s Eating You? • Weird Friends • Turtle Watch • Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! • Prince William • Oil Spill! • Sheep in a Jeep • Sound • The Remarkable Farkle McBride • Pancake, Pancakes • Rise the Moon • The Moon Book • Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me • Somewhere in the World Right Now • Erosion • Grand Canyon • Imaginative Inventions • Girls Think of Everything • The Perfect Pet • Bugs Are Insects • Ant, Ant, Ant! • Electrical Circuits • Too Many Toys • How People Learned to Fly • Kids’ Paper Airplane Book • Down the Drain • A Cool Drink of Water • If I Built a Car • Inventing the Automobile
|Member Price: $380.76
||Nonmember Price: $475.95
Customers who bought this item also bought
National Standards Correlation
This resource has 55 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Properties of objects and materials
- Objects have many observable properties, including size, weight, shape, color, and temperature. (K-4)
- The observable properties of objects can be measured using tools, such as rulers, balances, and thermometers. (K-4)
- Objects are made of one or more materials, such as paper, wood, and metal. (K-4)
- Objects can be described by the properties of the materials from which they are made. (K-4)
- Properties and changes of properties in matter
- Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances (compounds) with different characteristic properties. (5-8)
- Position and motion of objects
- An object's motion can be described by tracing and measuring its position over time. (velocity) (K-4)
- The size of the change of position and motion is related to the strength of the push or pull. (K-4)
- Sound is produced by vibrating objects. (K-4)
- The pitch of the sound can be varied by changing the rate of vibration. (K-4)
- The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling. (K-4)
- Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
- Electricity in circuits can produce light, heat, sound, and magnetic effects. (K-4)
- Electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass. (K-4)
- Transfer of Energy
- Electrical circuits provide a means of transferring electrical energy when heat, light, sound, and chemical changes are produced. (5-8)
- Motion and Forces
- The motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed. (5-8)
- Life Science
- The characteristics of organisms
- Each plant or animal has different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction. For example, humans have distinct body structures for walking, holding, seeing, and talking. (K-4)
- Organisms and environments
- All animals depend on plants. Some animals eat plants for food. Other animals eat animals that eat the plants.
- All organisms cause changes in the environment where they live. Some of these changes are detrimental to the organism or other organisms, whereas others are beneficial.
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms
- Biological adaptations include changes in structures, behaviors, or physiology that enhance survival and reproductive success in a particular environment (5-8)
- Earth Science
- Objects in the sky
- The sun, moon, stars, clouds, birds, and airplanes all have properties, locations, and movements that can be observed and described.
- Changes in earth and sky
- The surface of the earth changes.
- Some changes to the surface of the Earth are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering
- The sun appears to move across the sky in the same way every day, but its path changes slowly over the seasons.
- The moon moves across the sky on a daily basis much like the sun.
- The observable shape of the moon changes from day to day in a cycle that lasts about a month.
- Earth in the solar system
- Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. (5-8)
- The motions of most objects in the solar system explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Ask a question about objects, organisms, and events in the environment. (K-4)
- Plan and conduct a simple investigation. (K-4)
- Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses. (K-4)
- Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
- Communicate investigations and explanations.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
- Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.
- Science and Technology
- Abilities of technological design
- Identify a simple problem.
- Propose a solution.
- Implementing proposed solutions
- Evaluate a product or design.
- Design a solution or product.
- Implement a proposed design.
- Evaluate completed technological designs or products
- Communicate the process of technological design
- Understanding about science and technology
- Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals doing different things that contribute to the results. This understanding focuses primarily on teams working together and secondarily, on the combination of scientist and engineer teams.
- Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Types of resources
- The supply of many resources is limited.
- If used, resources can be extended through recycling and decreased use.
- Changes in environments
- Pollution is a change in the environment that can influence the health, survival, or activities of organisms, including humans.
- Populations, resources, and environments
- Causes of environmental degradation and resource depletion vary from region to region and from country to country. (5-8)
- Risks and benefits
- Students should understand the risks associated with chemical hazards (pollutants in air, water, soil, and food). (5-8)
- Science and technology in society
- Technology influences society through its products and processes. (5-8)
- Social needs, attitudes, and values influence the direction of technological development ways. (5-8)
- Science and technology have advanced through contributions of many different people, in different cultures, at different times in history. (5-8)
- History and Nature of Science
- Science as a human endeavor
- Men and women have made a variety of contributions throughout the history of science and technology.
- Women and men of various social and ethnic backgrounds--and with diverse interests, talents, qualities, and motivations--engage in the activities of science, engineering, and related fields such as the health professions. (5-8)
- Some scientists work in teams, and some work alone, but all communicate extensively with others. (5-8)
“This book of twenty lesson plans for grades three through six combines children's literature and reading with standards-based science education to provide educators with ready to use units for their science curriculum. Ansberry and Morgan, both former elementary school science teachers and curriculum experts, use thirty-eight children's books as a teaching platform for elementary science education that also reinforce reading and comprehension skills. Including photographs, teacher prompts and hand out materials this work will appeal to elementary school science teachers and education students.”
Annotation ©2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR
“Forget the predictable lava-enhanced volcano models or brightly painted foam-ball solar systems; the hope is that today's elementary grade students are absorbed in inquiry-based projects. But in classrooms besieged by test-prep and anxiety over reading and math scores, time for extended explorations can be hard to come by. With Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan's Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children's Books to Guide Inquiry, 3-6 (NSTA Press, 2010), teachers keep science alive while building literacy. It's a win-win proposition. … The core of the book contains 20 independent lessons which incorporate the BSCS 5E Instructional Model. … Each lesson is notable for its detail, with clearly stated objectives (based upon the National Science Education Standards); grade levels; a list of materials; reproducible student pages (specific to each lesson) for recording information, observations, activities, and results; an essay of factual background information on the topic; safety guidelines; and of course, the related picture books. For example, in the lesson "The Secrets of Flight," Fran Hodgkins' How People Learned to Fly (HarperCollins, 2007), and Ken Blackburn's Kids' Paper Airplane Book (Workman, 1996) support an investigation of flight which gets kids designing and testing paper airplanes. "Chemical Change Café" features a read aloud of Eric Carle's Pancakes, Pancakes! (Knopf, 1970), along with cooking and eating, to spur study of the differences between chemical and physical changes. Other lessons investigate an oil spill, electrical circuits, bugs, sea turtles, popcorn, sound, and more, replete with kid-tested, hands-on science activities designed to make learning authentic and fun.”
Curriculum Connections—School Library Journal, April 2011
||PERFECT Picture Perfect Science Lessons
||Reviewed by: Sharon Ragan (Youngstown, OH) on July 2, 2008
||I met Emily Morgan while we were OSCI trained in Columbus, OH a few years ago. She introduced me to her book and I thought it was wonderful. The lessons follow the 5 E’s Model that allows students to EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE. The inquiry method of teaching is so important when teaching children science. I use lessons from the Picture Perfect Science in my 6th grade classes too and the workshops that I facilitate the OPFERST classes at Youngstown State University. The teachers in the workshop are so impressed with the lessons that we have ordered both books for over 70 teacher participants. Many teachers are used to not teaching much science or teach it as a reading lesson. After using Picture Perfect Science lessons in the workshop, most teachers were excited about teaching science and cannot wait to get back to the classroom to teach using the 5 E’s Model. Integrating Picture Books is a great way to integrate Language Arts into Science while using inquiry.
||Picture-Perfect Science Lessons
||Reviewed by: Melanie Zook (, ) on May 5, 2008
||Picture-Perfect Science Lessons is an explanation and guide for using picture books and other children’s literature as a way to teach science. The book begins by outlining an argument for using such literature in science and provides best practice methods for reading picture books aloud to children.
The first chapter defines a picture book as being “…unique to children’s literature as they are defined by format rather than content. That is, they are books in which the illustrations are of equal importance as or more important than the text in the creation of meaning” (Strickland and Morrow 2000). Picture books tend to capture the interest of children for longer periods of time and lend themselves to comprehension strategy practice.
The book gave four research-based arguments for using picture books. First, they give context for concepts. Rather than having student memorize lists of facts, books give a real-life context in which new concepts can better be learned and observed. Second, picture books provide a greater depth of coverage. Unlike textbooks which often give broad coverage on many topics, picture books allow for in-depth coverage on one topic. Third, research shows that children showed great gains in literacy skills when introduced to children’s literature and literacy instruction in the science program. Their attitude towards science also improved. Finally, using picture books within the science curriculum provided opportunities to correct science misconceptions. “Repetition of the correct concept by reading several books, doing a number of experiments, and inviting scientists to the classroom can facilitate a conceptual change in children (Miller, Steiner, and Larson 1996).
The second chapter gave tips for reading aloud and reading comprehension strategies. The authors also listed tools for improving reading comprehension including anticipation guides, visual representations, rereading, stop and jot, think-pair-share, and word sorts.
The third and fourth chapters discussed using an inquiry model and leading children through prediction, inferring, and questioning. The authors introduce us to the BSCS Instruction Model (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) and the 5E model. The 5E model is Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. The purpose of the Engage stage is to capture students’ attention. The Explore stage provides opportunities for students to engage in activities, giving them concrete experiences, concepts and skills. In the Explain stage, students are given a chance to put their ideas into their own words, clarifying the concepts. This gives the teacher a checkpoint to assess student understanding. In the elaborate stage, students are challenged to extend the concepts learned and apply them to new situations. At the evaluate stage, the teacher is able to assess student’s understanding and give opportunity for students to self-evaluate.
The remainder of the book lays out each chapter as a lesson plan, including goals, objectives, all required materials, activities, questions and a rubric for assessment. Each chapter provides the worksheets needed for the activities and lays out each lesson according to the 5E model.
I would highly recommend this book for its many strategies and usability.
||Reviewed by: Sharon M (Spanish Fork, UT) on October 31, 2007
||My goal as a teacher is to proviide an introductory activity that immediately engages students with the topic. One of my favorite methods for doing this is picture books. This book is an excellent resource for integrating picture books into the science curriculum. It suggests some great books and gives ideas on how to use them in the most effective manner.
||A Must-Have Book for Elementary Teachers
||Reviewed by: Claire T (Anytown, TX) on April 27, 2007
||This book is wonderful! Deserves the Nobel Prize and a National Book Award.
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