Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fairy Tales in the Classroom Week: Science

The Scientific Method in Fairy Tale Forest

I talked about mathematics and fairy tales in the classroom last week, but realized there are a few books for usings fairy tales to teach science, too. The best I've discovered--although I haven't read this one in person--is The Scientific Method in Fairy Tale Forest by Laura Magner

Here's a description from the publisher:

The Scientific Method in Fairy Tale Forest draws on fairy tales as the context for practicing the scientific method and learning scientific knowledge.

It combines reading with science, and therefore curiosity, critical thinking, inquiry, data collection, and written expression. Other strategies, cooperative learning, summarizing, note taking, and generating and testing hypotheses are integrated.

The activities in The Scientific Method in Fairy Tale Forest support the National Science Education Standards, Teaching Standards B - an almost mirror image to the scientific method.

Science areas explored in The Scientific Method in Fairy Tale Forest are:

# Earth Science -the sun, weather, light energy
# Health Science -anatomy, criminology, human observation
# Life Science -ecology, animals, biology, plants and life cycles
# Physical Science -chemistry, chemical change, physical change, matter, physics, friction

The Scientific Method is a wonderful life skill to possess with uses beyond the area of science. Once children are practiced in conducting science experiments, they can move to solving real life problems with the method.

The phone doesn't work. Why? Use a hypothesis. The phone doesn't work because the batteries are dead. Test it out! Your baby sister is upset. Make a hypothesis. My baby sister is upset because she needs to eat something. Test it out! Was it food, or was it clean clothes or a nap?

The goal of these activities is to teach and allow students to become fluent in the scientific method and encourage them and model for them how to notice the possibility for testing scientific principles in other areas of their lives. Science doesn't happen only in science class. Show them the excitement in asking and finding the answers to their own questions!
I love the idea of using fairy tales to teach scientific methods.

Simple Story of the 3 Pigs and the Scientific Wolf

In my research, I also discovered Simple Story of the 3 Pigs and the Scientific Wolf by Mary Fetzner.

Here's a description from the publisher:

Once upon a time there were 3 little girl pigs plagued by the tricky wolf, but this was not an ordinary wolf. Oh no, this wolf knows about Science and Simple Machines! The question is - does he know how to use them correctly?

Meet the son of the Big Bad Wolf and the daughters of the Three Little Pigs in this illustrated (ready-to-color) take-off of the original. In this Read-Along story, the son thinks he is wiser and more clever than his father and can use his scientific knowledge of machines in order to capture the three pigs for piggy jam, piggy cake, and piggy pizza.

Using his charm, Little pig, little pig, a new friend you ve made. Open the door and don t be afraid, the young wolf uses an inclined plane, a lever, a wheel and axle, wedges, gears, and a screw to catch the pigs. But the young wolf doesn t quite use his critical thinking skills along with his scientific knowledge!

The book includes a Science Attitude Survey, 8 Simple Machine Lesson Plans for hands-on learning, 8 Extended Challenge Activities, 8 Critical/Creative Thinking Questions, and an end-of-unit Assessment.

The activities are correlated to the National Science Standards and include Objectives for Students.

Mary Fetzner is also author of The Magic of Magnets.
Three Little Pigs is very popular for teaching science principles. It really is full of possibilities when one considers the science behind much of the story.

I also have a collection of links of discussions of science in relation to fairy tales which I will share later today once I am on the right computer again.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder whether fairy-tales are 'compatible' with science.

    Fairy tales, in my opinion, are about things that are irrational. Introducing ideas like 'wishing can make something happen', or concepts such as fate, and destiny.

    With very few execptions, most scientists believe that fairy-tales, and everything that they represent are nonsense.

    There might be a controversial case, for saying that children, in schools, should be taught less about science, and more about fairy-tales.