In this post I've put together the short-list of my most valuable elementary and early middle school science curriculum resources. If you are a beginning teacher, trying to revamp your curriculum, working on curriculum mapping or developing curriculum from the ground-up, you are sure to find these books useful!
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Science Curriculum: Scope, Sequence and Benchmarks
If you are unsure of the best way to progress through science concepts, what is age or grade-level appropriate you'll find the Atlas of Science Literacy and A Framework for K-12 Science Education useful.
The Atlas of Science Literacy is a two volume set of concept maps that you can trace through various grade levels. You can see a sample of what I mean here.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education is basically the mother of the Next Generation Science Standards. It is written in a narrative form (rather than difficult to read standards form) and allows you to understand what to teach and when students should have mastered it. You can download a free version of the book here.
National Science Teacher's Association Books
The National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) has tons of great titles when it comes to science curriculum. I've used many, but by far my favorites are the Picture Perfect Science and STEM series, the Stop Faking It series, Everyday Science Mysteries series, and The Truth About Science: A Curriculum for Developing Young Scientists.
NSTA press books can be purchased directly from NSTA (at a discount for members) and are also available on Amazon.
The Picture-Perfect Science books pair inquiry based science activities with wonderful picture books. You can find a sample of a Picture Perfect lesson here.
Books in the Stop Faking It: Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It series give you a chance to brush up on your science knowledge in a fun and often humorous way to help you with your teaching practice.
Everyday Science Mysteries are great stories that lead into a quick science investigation or inquiry of everyday phenomena. These are wonderful to get student's creative juices flowing, and are also perfect for after-school science clubs or electives.
The Truth About Science: A Curriculum for Developing Young Scientists is a step by step curriculum to preparing students to develop their own science investigations. These lessons really set the stage for future work in the High School lab, or preparation for the science fair.
Science Picture Books to Read with Your Students
I've used a lot of picture books throughout the years to teach and help illustrate science concepts. Here are just a few of my favorites.
What is a Scientist? by Barbara Lehn and Scientists Ask Questions by Ginger Garrett are both excellent introductions to how we complete the scientific process. I particularly like that they show kids doing the investigating!
The Science Play series by Vicki Cobb illustrate science concepts in a really fun and digestible way for kids. There are several on topics you'll cover in early childhood and elementary education.
With an enormous list of titles and with concepts that are leveled for difficulty, the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science series can be used throughout elementary school. They are perfect for reading before or after a hands-on investigation. You can find lesson and activity ideas to accompany, the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out book, "Gravity is a Mystery" here.
If you're looking for books to help you with your Preschool Science Curriculum, check out my top 5 here.