Teachers, in the classroom, at home, or online, are asked to provide quality instruction around the Science of Reading and develop early literacy foundational abilities incorporating phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension strategies. With this focus, many teachers believe there is not adequate time for other subjects, particularly those in STEM areas. This book will help elementary teachers incorporate familiar fairy tales into STEM lessons. Each of the tales is easily acquired children’s literature (most non-copyrighted) so teachers can easily access a copy and/or provide students with their copy. Additionally, each tale has its organized STEM lesson with easy replication with low-cost household items that provide students with rich, hands-on experiences.
Teachers will be able to pick up this book and start incorporating quality experiences for their students right away. The inclusion of the 5E Lesson Plan (with Common Core standards) and proper usage of vocabulary that accompanies each tale will enable teachers to provide instruction that reaches higher Bloom’s and Depth of Knowledge for their students.
With a common desire to connect the rigor of science and engineering concepts to easily accessible children’s literature, Angela Stanford, Julie Quast, and Lisa Oden were drawn together to provide user-friendly lessons for teachers. Together, with over 80 years of teaching experience, they developed a collection of student-centered lessons where students solve problems through peer collaboration utilizing an inquiry-based approach.
Chapter 1. The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf
Chapter 2. Three Billy Goats Gruff
Chapter 3. Rapunzel
Chapter 4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Chapter 5. Chicken Little
Chapter 6. Jack and the Beanstalk
Chapter 7. Sleeping Beauty
Chapter 8. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Chapter 9. Cinderella
Chapter 10. The Gingerbread Man
Chapter 11. The Princess and the Pea
Chapter 12. The Pied Piper
About the Authors
As a science educator I am always looking for quality resources that urge educators to view science as a verb—encouraging kids to do things in order to investigate and support science concepts. Tinkering with Tales: Using Children’s Literature to Engage in STEM by Angela Stanford, Lisa Oden, and Julie Quast is an exemplary book for teaching elementary science that does just that. Their lessons inspire both reluctant scientists and struggling readers to find themselves absorbed in science discovery lessons based on classic fairy tales.
I am excited about this book for several reasons. First, the authors not only base each lesson on Next Generation Science standards, they also combine cross curricular connections with math, ELA, and other disciplines in a natural way. Second, Tinkering with Tales guides educators through STEM-oriented lessons with valuable background notes, teaching suggestions, and lesson outlines based on the 5E model (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate). And finally, the supplies and materials required for the investigations are readily available, little or no cost, recyclable materials. It is easy to tell this book is written by teachers for teachers.
I would require this book for my pre-service elementary education majors and recommend it for teachers, parents, and any adults who work with elementary age children in enrichment programs of all kinds. The authors do an incredible job of organizing each lesson; now the rest of us get to have fun engaging learners in doing science.
Tinkering with Tales: Using Children’s Literature to Engage in STEM provides a blueprint for science lessons based on stories familiar to children across the globe. The easy to follow guidance in Tinkering with Tales will allow you to help students actively engage with the storyline of tales they have known as toddlers as well as understand the scientific principles hidden in plain sight within the drama of these characters. Finding ways to help students discover science in their everyday surroundings is one of the most promising ways to inspire curiosity, love of learning, and respect for their environment and fellow humans. Tinkering with Tales: Using Children's Literature to Engage in STEM will make science principles come alive with a minimum effort on your part.
Tinkering with Tales: Using Children’s Literature to Engage in STEM is a great resource for teachers looking to integrate classic, familiar stories into their STEM curriculum. The lessons are engaging and consider phenomenon-driven student inquiry and three-dimensional learning as prescribed by the NGSS standards. For teachers struggling with content and lack of time, the book includes teacher background information and easy to follow 5E lesson plans, complete with ideas for assessment and extensions. As an instructor to pre-service teachers in STEM methods, I would recommend this resource as an essential part of a well-integrated elementary curriculum.