Every year in my course for teachers, we have a book fair. Each participant (and yes, everyone participates) has to bring at least one book and describe how that book could be used to teach science at their chosen grade level.
There’s the easy stuff: the encyclopedias, Eyewitness books, Magic School Bus… but what else? Do we miss opportunities to teach science concepts with other literature that contains science?
A friend of mine teaches first grade, and loves to teach with Sadie and the Snowman. Sadie makes a snowman every year, and her snowman always melts! What science can you teach here? For starters, Precipitation/snow and phase changes (melting and freezing). There are also animals who eat parts of the snowman (oh no!) and this could lead into an investigation centered around what animals come for birdseed outside your classroom windows.
How about the Lorax? Wait, that’s too easy…
How about one of my favorites? When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life before Dinosaurs gives an honest and accurate presentation of paleozoic life before dinosaurs.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Metamorphosis!
What un-science books have you used in your classroom to teach science?