105 Ways to Give a Book

STEM Friday: Science and Stories Program

There’s a new meme in town. STEM Friday focuses on books that promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The round-up this week is hosted at Simply Science.

Over the year I’ll be sharing the preschool program I created for the library and that I’m presenting once a month. The concept behind the program is to introduce science topics by combining fiction and nonfiction, songs and mini-experiments, action rhymes and hands-on times. The target age for the program is three to six years old, so the information conveyed is basic, and intended to encourage a questioning, observational approach to scientific topics.


Book: Kidogo, by Anik McGrory

Experiment: “Big or Little”
Hold up various objects – pencils, stuffed animals, etc. — and decide as a group if they are big or little. What do we have to consider? Comparison? The use of the object? Standard sizes of the object? What makes something big or little? This exercise shows that description is subjective, and we need more standard ways of measuring.

Book: How Long Is It? by Donna Loughran

Experiment: “I Need an Envelope”
Each child has a card and needs to order an envelope of the right size. The child measures the envelope with any of the following units: fingers, paper clips, or pencils. The instructor fills the order, but the envelope doesn’t fit. Why not? Because the adult filling the order has a bigger finger, smaller paper clip, and smaller pencil. This exercise demonstrates why standard measuring systems are needed.

Book: Measuring Penny, by Loreen Leedy

Experiment: “Types of Measuring”
Show different items and ask the group what they measure. Things like a measuring cup & spoons, a scale, a thermometer, a ruler, measuring tape, a scale, etc. What else measures?

Book: Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer, by Kathleen Pelley

Experiment: “How Big Is It?”
Hands-on time to measure different items. Each child has a paper ruler (look online for templates) and a pencil. Six items to measure are a pencil, an envelope, a card, post-it notes, a book, and paper clips. This is also time to explore the other measuring items from “Types of Measuring.” Have beads and pom-poms for the measuring spoons and cups, let the children measure each other with the tape, and weigh themselves on the scale. (Put away the thermometer before somebody sticks it in his mouth. Lesson learned.)

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