These books to teach force and motion are my ABSOLUTELY favorite tp integrate science and literature. I have been meaning to write this article for a while now because sometimes we forget how wonderful read alouds to integrate content area truly are. And It is important that our students come to understand that we can read to learn about topics of interest, not just stories. In many schools, including the one where I teach, we assess children using both fiction and non-fiction text. I often hear my colleagues say that the non-fiction texts are harder than fiction at the same reading level, but it can seem that way because we have not exposed our students to all the types of text we can use for teaching and enjoyment.
One non-fiction topic children like is forces and motion. They enjoy this topic so much because it is an important part of our everyday world. There are some terrific books to teach force and motion with activities included to do both in and out of the classroom. My students have set up experiences from these books in the classroom, out on the playground, and in PE class to share with their classmates.
Here are books your students will like:
Newton and Me
Written by Lynne Mayer
Illustrated by Sherry Rogers
While playing with his dog, Newton, a young boy discovers the laws of force and motion in his everyday activities. Told in rhyme, Newton and Me follows these best friends on an adventure as they apply physics to throwing a ball, pulling a wagon, riding a bike, and much more. They realize that Newton s Laws of Motion describe experiences they have every day, and they recognize how forces affect the objects around them.
And Everyone Shouted, “Pull!” A First Look at Forces and Motion (First Look: Science)
Written by Claire Llewellyn
Illustrated by Simone Abel
In this book, younger students learn about forces and motion as they join the farm animals on their trip to the market. The wheels on their cart help when they push, pull, and stop on their journey. This book is a wonderful way to get kids interested in science in the classroom or at home!
Oscar and the Cricket: A Book About Moving and Rolling (Start with Science)
Written and Illustrated by Geoff Waring
One day Oscar sees a ball in the grass. “Try pushing it!”; says Cricket. Oscar learns that the ball rolls slowly in grass and faster on a path, until it bounces off a tree and changes direction. Some things need a push to move, and others use their muscles to move themselves — and to move other things, too. This book includes an index and supplemental activities.
Give It a Push! Give It a Pull!: A Look at Forces
Written by Jennifer Boothroyd
You push a swing. Your brother pulls a wagon. Forces are at work all around you. But what exactly is a force? And how do forces act on different objects? Read this book to find out! Learn all about matter, energy, and forces in this book from a series. The high-energy designs, exciting photos, and fun text, bring nonfiction topics to life!
The Magic School Bus Plays Ball: A Book About Forces
Written by Joanna Cole
A Science book list is not complete without The Magic School Bus. Every student loves the hilarious adventures of Ms. Frizzle and her students. In this book, students will learn about force and friction in an original and exciting story. Plus, there are lots of hands-on activities for students to apply what they have learned and discover more. Definitely one of my favorite books for force and motion.
Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow (Amazing Science)
Written by Darlene Ruth Stille
Illustrated by Sheree Boyd
What is motion? Changing places from where I am to where I want to be? Do I move in straight lines or curved lines? Up or down? Forward or backward? How does speed affect my motion?
A fun exploration of forces and motion to include speed, inertia, direction, and gravity. There is more focus on speed and friction than on pushing and pulling. This book has great experiments, fun facts, and resources to bring students’ learning experiences to the fullest.
Written and Illustrated by Marla Frazee
From Caldecott Honor winning author-illustrator Marla Frazee, this is a thrilling picture book that takes readers up, up, up to the highest point of a roller coaster, where no book has ever gone before! This amusement park visit begins with a line of prospective riders, eagerly awaiting their turn with at least one person who has never done this before. Zooming, swerving, dipping, and diving, this delightful story features a breathtaking ride and a hilarious range of reactions and will help readers lose their roller coaster anxiety. Marla Frazee’s narrative and building of tension creates an experience unlike any other and will have readers begging to take another ride.
Forces Make Things Move (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Written by Kimberly Bradley
Illustrated by Paul Meisel
When a toy car rolls or a boulder falls, it is force that makes them move. But what is force and how does it work? There are forces at work whenever you throw a ball, run up the stairs, or push your big brother off the couch. This clear and appealing science book for early elementary age kids, both at home and in the classroom, uses simple, fun language, easy-to-understand examples, and cartoon-like art to make basic physics concepts understandable and fun. This book also includes a kid-friendly experiment in friction.
Eyewitness: Force & Motion Hardcover
Written by Peter Lafferty
This is a more advanced book that explores force and motion on a deeper, advanced level. In Eyewitness, students will gain a deeper understanding of force and motion as they explore ancient and modern examples of how they are applied. It has been called “a museum between the covers of a book.” Students will love the pictures and the lessons on force and motion.
Move It!: Motion, Forces and You (Primary Physical Science)
Written by Adrienne Mason
Illustrated by Claudia Dávila
Developed with the cooperation of a science consultant, this book in the Primary Physical Science series is a tool to teach the physical sciences to young children. Move It! follows science curricula and is loaded with surprising facts and direct activities designed to hold young readers’ interest and tap into their fascination with the everyday world. Move It! explores the physics of why and how things move.
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