[kids-lib] Literacy in the Sciences: free resources!

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Wed Dec 7 11:50:19 PST 2011

Hello!  I just received the latest Reading Rockets<http://www.readingrockets.org/> newsletter and learned that their website now has a section dedicated to resources on science, called Literacy in the Sciences<http://www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series/>.  Many libraries have started integrating some science and math based activities into their programming.  This may be a great resource to help you get started!

In my brief exploration of Literacy in the Sciences I noticed ready-to-use tips sheets<http://www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series/#STEM_tipsheets> that include information for parents to help them do science activities with their children at home and book lists! Here is an example of how you might use these during your regular preschool storytime:

  *   Select 3-4 picture books that, after reading aloud, kids can make comparisons that they can graph.  For example:
     *   Baby Duck in the Rain by Amy Hest: ask kids "What color are your rain boots/rain jacket/umbrella" and physically line the kids up according to color of rain gear and discuss which line is longer, which is shorter, what is the most/least common color of rain gear, etc.
     *   The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins: ask kids "What is your favorite kind of cookie" and create a bar graph with 3-4 types of cookies and an "other" category, give each child one paper cookie, have kids come tape their paper cookie in the appropriate column, then have a similar discussion about which column is tallest/shortest, which cookie is most/least liked, etc.  Give them real cookies to eat! If possible, leave the graph up until the next storytime because kids may come back to the library and enjoy talking about it more or showing another family member. If you must have a craft, perhaps kids could decorate/color their paper cookies before putting them on the graph--that also may help you manage the flow of kids putting their cookies on the graph.
  *   Tell parents "One way to help prepare your child for school is to do simple math and science activities like the ones we did today that related to your child's experiences and interests. Here is a handout with tips for doing graphing activities at home and picture books you can read to reinforce the concepts."
  *   Distribute the Creating Bar Graphs<http://www.readingrockets.org/pdfs/edextras/43814-en.pdf%20> tips sheet from Reading Rockets
  *   Have a variety of age-appropriate math and science concept library materials on display to make it easy for parents to grab something to checkout and go.

If the hyperlinks don't work, here are the URLs which you can copy and paste into your browser.  If that doesn't work, try doing an internet search on "Reading Rockets Literacy in the Sciences".

  *   Literacy in the Sciences: http://www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series/
  *   Ready-to-use tips sheets: http://www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series/#STEM_tipsheets
  *   Creating Bar Graphs tips sheet: http://www.readingrockets.org/pdfs/edextras/43814-en.pdf
  *   Reading Rockets: http://www.readingrockets.org/


Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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