Picture Perfect Science Lessons uses children's literature to engage students in science topics and inquiry. Inquiry is essentially asking questions in order to find answers. The scientific process is inquiry.
The book covers 14 science topics, including bubbles, measurement, worms, oceans, trees, magnets, rocks, stars, and more. The lessons are intended for children in kindergarten through 4th grade.
Before even getting to the lessons, the book provides five chapters to help the teacher understand how children's literature enhances science and how science lessons with literature can improve comprehension. The whole idea of inquiry is covered in detail with photographs included. And you'll find a chart describing how each lesson relates to the National Science Education Standards.
Each lesson provides a brief description, as a suggested grade level, the time expected to complete the lesson, materials needed, and background information for the teacher. One or two picture books are featured to go with the lesson. You are provided with the books' details (such as author and illustrator), but finding the actual book is your responsibility.
The lesson is based on five "E's"--Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. To engage the student, the teacher asks leading questions to build interest in the subject. The student explores the concept through worksheets, activity sheets, and/or charts. Explanations are then given to the teacher so that he or she can explain concepts to the student. Elaborations are further activities to reinforce the topic, and evaluation takes place as the teacher asks leading questions to be sure the child understood everything.
I found the lesson worksheets, activity sheets, and charts to be excellent. Not only do they reinforce the subject of science, but language arts is typically reinforced as well. For example, the student might be asked to create a poster about a certain topic or write a story that incorporates the new facts that have been learned. At the end of each lesson, there is a list of additional books and related websites that might be helpful for further instruction or investigation.
This curriculum was developed for the classroom environment. It's very obvious through the language and pictures. However, there is nothing to prohibit a homeschool family (or co-op) from using the lessons. I didn't find any activities that required more than one child. Nor did I come across any objectionable material, but since the book is secular in nature, it would be wise to watch for the typical secular teachings often found in science curriculums.
If you're looking for a way to engage your children in learning, piquing their interest with children's literature is a good place to start. This book walks you through some very thorough lessons that young children should enjoy.