Here it is, the long awaited sequel to A Picture Book is Worth a Thousand Words Part 1. I know you’ve been patiently waiting for its publication. It’s a good thing this isn’t Top Gun, and you only had to wait a month for this installment! This time I will be focussing on picture books which focus on STEM topics. I have chosen one book for each STEM area plus videos and activities that can be done in conjunction with the books.
Thank You, Dr. Salk!: The Scientist Who Beat Polio and Healed the World
By: Dean Robbins
This picture book tells the true story of the quiet child who grew up to develop the vaccine for Polio and save the lives of millions of children.
Information on Polio can be found on the CDC website.
Pair the reading of the picture book with a hands-on activity for learning more about viruses and antibodies. Information and videos for these activities can be found at the: British Society for Immunology.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
By: Laurie Wallmark
Pair it with this fun Dr. Binocs short video about Grace Hopper.
Then follow up with this resource guide with discussion questions, a binary code activity, and a cut and paste timeline that can be found on Laurie Wallmark’s Website.
Someone Builds the Dream
By: Lisa Wheeler, Illustrations by Loren Long
This beautifully written and illustrated book tells the story of all of the people it takes to make a dream (a bridge, an amusement park, a building, a book) a reality. This is one of my absolute favorites!
This book pairs nicely with the next text.
My students building their own bridges after being inspired by picture books.
The Math Curse
By: Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
In this oldie but goodie, a young girl wakes up with a “math curse.” Suddenly every part of her life is a math problem.
Pair this book with almost any math activity, but here are some ideas that tie directly to the book.
By: Maribeth Boelts
A sweet story of a boy who wants “those shoes” that everyone else in his class seems to have, a grandma who reminds him of the difference between “wants” and “needs,” and a touching act of kindness.
Pair it with this fun inference activity (The link to download is at the bottom)
Finally, have your students design and build their own pair of shoes. You can set your own criteria, but here are some examples of lessons.
There is no limit to the learning and fun you and your students can have with picture books in your STEM classroom.
Picture books can be a springboard for discussions and activities for students of all ages and abilities.
Other amazing STEM books for you to try:
- The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem By: Colleen Paeff
- A Life Electric: The Story of Nikola Tesla By: Azadeh Westergaard
- CRASH! BOOM! A Math Tale By: Robie H. Harris
- If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers By David J. Smith
- The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow
- Fairy Science Solid, Liquid, Gassy by Ashley Spires
- 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill
While colorful and fun, picture books aren’t just for our smallest students. They can be a springboard for discussions and activities for students of all ages and abilities. These are just a few suggestions for books and activities. Use them as-is, or as inspiration for your own creative lessons.