Monday, September 08, 2008

Nonfiction Nuggets - An Electrifying Trio

My students are preparing for class this week and are highlighting books on different aspects of physical science. Suffice it to say they are VERY disappointed with the choices available to them. As they're slogging their way through lots of "experimental" and "how-to" books, I thought I would highlight three useful resources for the study of electricity.

Wired written by Anastasia Suen and ilustrated by Paul Carrick - Nicely illustrated with lots of examples and labels, this book uses two levels of text to engage readers and help them understand how electricity is produced and conducted from power plant to home. Simple rhyming text describes the basic action, "humming thrumming, power's coming." This is accompanied by detailed informational text. The book begins by explaining what electricity is. "Electricity starts with something you cannot see: electrons. Electrons are part of an atom, and atoms are inside everything, including you!" The text is well-written and makes the concepts easily understandable for students and teachers alike.

Switch On, Switch Off written by Melvin Berger and illustrated by Carolyn Croll - This book in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series explores how lights actually work. Readers will learn how electricity is produced and transmitted, and how generators, light bulbs, and electrical plugs work. At the end of the book readers will find directions for producing an electric current using wire, a bar magnet, and a compass.

The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen - Ms. Frizzle's at it again, taking her students to places they can only imagine. In this adventure they not only experience how a power plant makes energy, but they also travel through fires and wires, meet subatomic particles up close, and see home appliances from the inside.
**Note - I know this last one is a nonfiction stretch, as books in this series are cataloged as juvenile literature and generally shelved with picture books. However, there is a tremendous amount of factual information in them that is very helpful.

This post was written for Nonfiction Monday. Head on over to Anastasia Suen’s blog and check out all the great posts highlighting nonfiction this week.

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