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Living Books for Science

April 14, 2014 3 min read

living books

Living books are killer tools for teaching science! They can bring the subject matter to life and add interest to what you are learning.

Like we have said before, living it is way cooler, but we know that most of y'all don’t have invisible zip lines coming out of your uncle’s basement. So, we recommend reading living books to learn about science instead!

Today we have asked one of our authors to come back and share with you more about how to choose living books for science education. So come on in Paige and share your stuff!

Hi folks, I'm happy to be back sharing with you about two of my favorite subjects - science and living books! Let's begin...

What Is A Living Book?

In short, a living book is written by someone with a passion for the material or by someone who has experienced the story first hand.

The author is able to pull the reader into the story. He or she presents the scientific or historical facts in such a way that the student hardly realizes they are learning.

Here are a few posts to help you learn more about using these valuable resources:

How To Choose Living Books For Science?

When you are choosing a living book for science look for:

  • Books that will draw a student in and hold their interest;
  • Books that are educationally sound, meaning the facts are solid;
  • Books that will create a passion in your student for the subject.

The main purpose of using living books in science education is to engage your students with the material they are studying. Doing so, will build enthusiasm for the topic and will help them to remember what they have studied.

Several Suggestions Of Living Books For Science

Here are some options to get you started:

Preschool and Early Elementary Students

  • The Let’s Read & Find Out About It series by various authors, such as Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean
  • Parables of Nature by Margaret S. Gatty
  • The Among the... series by Clara Dillingham Pierson, such as Among the Farmyard People

Elementary Students

  • The Sassafras Science Adventures series by Johnny Congo and Paige Hudson, such as The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume 1: Zoology
  • Any of the science-themed books by Thornton Burgess, such as The Burgess Bird Book for Children
  • The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children by Jane Andrews
  • The Storybook of Science by Jeani Fabre

Middle School Students

  • The Living History Library series has books on scientists by various authors, such as Galen and the Gateway to Medicine
  • The Story of Science series by Joy Hakim’s, such as The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way
  • The Wonder Book of Chemistry by Jeani Fabre
  • The Fairy-Land of Science by Arabella Buckley
  • Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley

High School Students

  • Exploring the History of Medicine by John Hudson Tiner
  • Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines by Richard A. Muller
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
  • Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif


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