One common theme that connects all these programs is change. In science, one way we explore change is to look at the ways in which humans have changed the natural world. In social studies, we look at differences between past and present and compare changes in community life over time. There are many books that look at change over time, and most of them integrate the science and social studies aspects of this change. Here are some of the titles I like to use.
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton - The classic tale of a house in the country slowly taken over by urbanization has a message that still rings true today.
A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History - Follow the evolution of the Nashua river, from earliest days, through times when only Native Peoples lived on the land, to colonial settlement and on through today. Though the river is damaged, an important message that we have the power to make things right is delivered.
New Providence: A Changing Cityscape by Renata von Tscharner and Ronald Lee Fleming - This picture book documents the physical evolution of a typical small American city between 1910 and 1987.
Heron Street by Ann Turner - This books documents what happens over the centuries as people settle near the marsh by the sea, and herons and other animals are displaced.
Two wordless picture books by Jeannie Baker.
- Home - When a new baby arrives home, the view outside her window is not a pleasant one. As she grows, the beauty of the urban area is reclaimed.
- Window - Each year as a young boy grows, the view outside his window changes, from one of the countryside to one with housing developments and the golden arches.
Hudson: A Story of a River by Robert C. Baron - Akin to Cherry's book on the Nashua river, this book follows the life of the Hudson river.
Where Once There Was a Wood by Denise Fleming - In beautiful cut paper collage, the author introduces the animals that live in an area, and are then displaced by a housing development. The book concludes with suggestions for creating backyard habitats and directions for establishing butterfly and hummingbird gardens.What Ever Happened to the Baxter Place by Pat Ross - Watch what happens as a farm family sells their land piece by piece and urbanization creeps farther and farther into the country.
There are many other ways to look at change in science. The seasons and life cycles are two topics I will tackle a bit later. The books above are just a representation of those that help bridge the gap between science and social studies and allow us to look at change both historically and environmentally.