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Tricks and Treats for Your Science Classroom


Get ready to have some fun with your students this Halloween

Below are a few spook-tacular NSTA science resources every boy and ghoul will love.


Lesson Plans

Daily Do

Daily Do Lesson Plan

Why Are the Bones Still Here?

Today's task explores a phenomenon many students and their families have probably seen: something that was once alive and is now decomposing. Animals living outside in the environment die every day. Why Are The Bones Still Here? engages students in science and engineering practices to figure out what happens to animals that die outside.

Teaching Science Through Trade Books

Teaching Science Through Trade Books


Walk through any elementary school in the fall and you are bound to see students learning about pumpkins. Kids of all ages are fascinated by these versatile, edible members of the gourd family. Pumpkins are interesting and inexpensive and can be found in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, so they’re terrific for using in hands-on math and science lessons. This chapter uses two picture books about pumpkins as well as some real pumpkins to engage students in the processes of scientific inquiry.


NSTA Press Books

Next Time You See a Spiderweb

By: Emily Morgan

If you know children who say “Ick!” when they spot a spider, this irresistible book will make them say “Ooh!” instead. Next Time You See a Spiderweb describes how these small, skillful creatures weave some of nature’s most clever traps—their webs. Author Emily Morgan shows how spiders snare their prey with tangled webs, funnel webs, and intricate orb webs. The book tells how spiders spin sticky silk without getting stuck themselves. And it reveals the surprising tricks of the jumping spider, fishing spider, and trap-door spider. Next Time You See a Spiderweb is a book that children and adults alike will want to take along on their next nature walk.

Next Time You See a Spiderweb

Picture-Perfect STEM Lessons, 3-5: Using Children’s Books to Inspire STEM Learning

By: Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry

For teachers eager to integrate STEM into their school day, Picture-Perfect STEM Lessons is an exciting development. This book’s 15 kid-friendly lessons convey how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics intersect in the real world. They embed reading-comprehension strategies that integrate the STEM subjects and English language arts through high-quality picture books. You’ll help your 3–5 students engage in STEM activities while learning to read and reading to learn.

Picture-Perfect STEM


Lab Out Loud • Podcast

Pumpkin Science, Facts and Surprises

To answer our questions about pumpkins, we connected with a pumpkin expert. From the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Rebecca Brown joins us to talk about growing pumpkins, the surprising results of pumpkin breeding, and the pumpkin industry in the United States.

Lab Out Loud


Journal Articles


At Home With Bats: A take-home STEM unit addresses the declining bat population through problem-based learning.

By: Jocelyn Miller and Katy Roberson

Science Shorts: Gourd-ous Decomposition

By: Amy Rubenstein, Stacey Cleary, and Christina Siry

Middle School

No Bones About It

By: Lydia Lytal, Brooke A. Whitworth, and Gail Morton

Tried and True: The Halloween Lab

By: Stacey Hoffman

Tried and True: Spooky suspects

By: Lara Pacifici

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