Literacy in the Sciences
Many of the skills that are critical for growing strong readers and writers are also core skills in the study of science and math. Predicting, understanding cause and effect, understanding sequence, acquiring a rich vocabulary, building background knowledge, and developing the ability to read and write informational text are some of the skills we're looking at in the Literacy in the Sciences series. These easy-to-read two-page tip sheets are written especially for parents and include activities and books to extend your child's learning.
What you'll find here:
- Literacy in the Sciences tip sheets (in English and Spanish)
- Great books for kids about science and math
- Video interviews with children's authors
- More science resources from Reading Rockets
- Other recommended web resources
- PBS KIDS science programs and activities
Literacy in the Sciences tip sheets
These 18 tip sheets all about literacy in the sciences are written just for parents, and are available in English and Spanish.
Each tip sheet includes simple activities you can do with your child to build literacy and beginning science skills. Each tip sheet also includes a set of recommended picture books to extend the learning. These tip sheets are part of our Growing Readers parent newsletter series. Subscribe to Growing Readers and get the latest edition delivered right to your inbox.
- Outdoor Explorations
- Steps of the Scientific Process
- STEM Tools at Home
- Making Predictions
- Taking Measurements
- Recording Observations: Journals and Field Notes
- Recording Observations: Capturing and Sharing Images
- Patterns and Categorizing
- Teaching Sequence
- Cause and Effect
- Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions
- Creating Bar Charts
- Share What You Discover! Publishing Your Work
- How to Read Nonfiction Text
- The Vocabulary of Science
- Research and Information Literacy
- Think Like an Inventor
- Science vs. Science Fiction!
Great books for kids about science and math
There's been a recent boom in publishing beautifully designed and readable science books for young children. And kids love nonfiction. They really enjoy looking at every detail in the photographs, reading the captions, and trying to puzzle out the charts, diagrams, and timelines. We also find many examples of fictional picture books with a math or science theme that can provide the perfect doorway for getting your child interested in the world around him.
Here are some science- and math-themed book lists from our collection:
- An Anniversary Blast
- Count It Out
- Count, Think, and Play with Math
- How Things Work
- Numbers, Counting, Measuring and More: Books About Math
- Take Flight!
- Secrets of Science
- Summer Science
- See the Sea!
- Ten Books About Space
- Change Is in the Air
- Animals All Around
- More Animals All Around
- Bugs, Birds & Animals
- More Bugs, Birds & Animals
- Dinosaurs Rule!
- Field Trips and Other Adventures
Video interviews with children's authors
Reading Rockets has an extensive library of video interviews with award-winning children's authors. We've selected the following writers and illustrators whose work focuses on science and math themes:
- Buzz Aldrin, Look to the Stars
- Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Vicki Cobb, Science Experiments You Can Eat
- Joanna Cole, The Magic School Bus series
- Sneed Collard, Animal Dads
- Denise Fleming, In the Small, Small Pond
- Gail Gibbons, Penguins!
- Sy Montgomery, The Snake Scientist
- Seymour Simon, Hurricanes
- Tanya Lee Stone, Almost Astronauts
- Greg Tang, Math Potatoes
More science-themed resources from Reading Rockets
- Reading Adventure Packs
- Start with a Book
- Science Notebooks
- Literature-Based Teaching in Science: What's in the Sky?
- Literature-Based Teaching in Science: Q&A Reports
- Using Graphic Organizers in Literature-Based Science Instruction
- Meet the Scientist
- Virtual Field Trips
- What the Research Says About Literature-Based Teaching and Science
- Supporting Scientific Language in Primary Grades
Other recommended web resources
Science-Themed Children's Books
- Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12
- NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
- Teach with Picture Books
- Open Wide, Look Inside
- Growing with Science: Science Books
Science-Themed Websites for Kids
PBS Kids science programs and activities
Nature Cat (Ages 3-8)
With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of nature investigation.
Peg + Cat (Ages 3-5)
An animated math-based series that follows Peg and her sidekick Cat as they embark on adventures, solve problems together, and learn foundational math concepts and skills.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That (Ages 4-5)
In each program, the Cat in the Hat and his friends Sally and Nick go on a science adventure such as shrinking to bee-size to explore a hive and discover how honey is made; flying with birds to discover how and why they migrate; or diving inside flowers to find out more about the animals that depend on them to live.
Dinosaur Train (Ages 4-5)
This animated series embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains, while encouraging basic scientific thinking skills as children learn about life science, natural history and paleontology. Along with the animated stories, there are short live-action segments hosted by a paleontologist.
Sid the Science Kid (Ages 4-5)
This animated show uses comedy to promote exploration, discovery, and science readiness among preschoolers, and taps into children's natural curiosity about science in everyday life. The energetic and inquisitive Sid starts each episode with a new question like "why are my shoes shrinking?" or "why do bananas get mushy?"
Plum Landing (Ages 6-9)
In this animated series, meet Plum, a video game designer from the desolate Planet Blorb, who longs to experience nature. The Plum Landing curriculum is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and is designed to give kids an undderstanding of the science underlying healty ecosystems and sustainability.
WildKratts (Ages 6-8)
Chris and Martin Kratt encounter incredible wild animals, combining science education with fun and adventure, while traveling to animal habitats around the globe. The program can help strengthen basic skills of observation and investigation that children will use increasingly as they continue their study of science.
Cyberchase (Ages 8-12)
Designed for kids ages 8 to 12, the program uses mystery, humor, and action to deliver positive messages about math by teaching concepts in a fun, understandable way. From tackling time in ancient Egyptian tombs to cracking codes in creepy caves, kids learn that math is everywhere and fun to use! A live-action segment shows kids how math can help solve life's crazy problems in the real world.
SciGirls (Ages 8-12)
SciGirls is designed to spark a girl's curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The show is all about hands-on science inquiry. Viewers learn the scientific process, work collaboratively to investigate meaningful questions, and see how STEM helps people solve problems, achieve goals, and help others.