Brain researchers tell us that when kids are engaged, enthusiastic, or invested they retain information long-term, which is what makes picture book read-alouds such a great way to introduce STEM in the classroom.
‘Creative nonfiction‘ or ‘literary nonfiction’ tell engaging stories while imparting facts or concepts. Some are entirely factual and some…get a little wild.
Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist is a great example of creative storytelling that teaches a fundamental concept of science. How do you give early elementary children a taste of scientific practices while keeping them giggling and enthralled? Tell a fantastic story!
“Story often plays second fiddle to substance when it comes to educational books,” Mike Allegra, author of Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist, says. “This, in my view, is a mistake.”
As a self-labelled “die-hard teacher groupie,” Allegra has always been surrounded by teachers. “My wife is a teacher. My sister is a teacher. Both of my parents are teachers. Many of my friends are teachers. I owe everything to teachers. So here’s hoping this book can provide a new and fun way to help teachers teach.”
Scampers Thinks Like a Scientist is the story of an extraordinary mouse. She’s curious. She asks questions. And she experiments. In short, she thinks like a scientist!
When a menacing owl appears over the mice’s favorite vegetable garden, Scampers refuses to follow the rest of the mice to the distant fields. With her faithful (and very nervous) friend Nibbles, she observes, she investigates, and, at long last, she discovers the truth about the unresponsive garden owl. So what if the other mice are less than convinced?
“Well, sometimes a new discovery is so amazing that others need a little time to accept it,”
Scampers replied. “So while they’re thinking it over, let’s eat!”
For more information about using creative nonfiction in the classroom, check out this article by Dawn editor Carol Malnor!