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.— Debbie Silver Ed.D, teacher, author, and consultant
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.— Robin M. Smith, Author of "Conquering the Content: A Blueprint for Online Course Design and Development"
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.— Michelle Johnson, MSE; director, The STEM Center at Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas