Science in a Topic

Science in a Topic comprises nine books for students and a teacher’s guide to the series, published by Hulton Educational Publications between 1973 and 1985. Science in a Topic was developed to encourage and help teachers to include a first-hand experience which embraces the skills, processes and methods of scientists within their classroom work. It was written to encourage all primary teachers to organise science within the normal activities, rather than allowing it to be regarded as a separated, sterile session. By working with science as a part in an integrated study, the teacher can deal in a more realistic way with the organisation of practical science activities.

The aim was to ensure that science was included in the topic work that was widely being developed in primary schools in the 1970s. The topics often combined studies in history, geography, literature and art but avoided science. Including science not only enriched the topic but ensured that science was studied within a context of interest and relevance to children.

The topic books are addressed to students, reading being supported by clear coloured diagrams, drawings and photographs. The topics are:
* Clothes and costume
* Communication
* Food
* Houses and Homes
* In the air
* Moving on Land
* Roads, Bridges and Tunnels
* Ships
* Sports and Games

The science activities are embedded in topics which also lead to learning in history, geography, mathematics and art. The books make explicit that the whole of the topic work is not completely covered, only the science part. Students are told that they will need to use many other books to find out about other aspects of the topic. The books do not give information but mainly pose questions and suggest ways for finding the answers. The activities can be used in any sequence and not necessarily completed, so they can be used by children at different stages. Although the many clear and coloured drawings assist the understanding, students need to be able to read at the level of about nine years or above.

Being written in the late 1970s, inevitably changes in the range of foods, modes of transport and communication since that time make some activities seem dated.


Clothes and Costume

Science in a Topic students’ book Clothes and Costume includes activities relating to the properties of different materials, how they can be tested and how they can be changed. Students work with a range of materials, including fabrics, leather and minerals and metals used in making jewellery. Instructions for...


The Science in a Topic students’ book Food provides a range of information and activities for children relating to different kinds of foods. It leads students to consider food commonly eaten in the past and in other countries. Activities extend students’ knowledge of the origin and processing of raw materials in...

In the Air

Science in a topic students’ book In the air covers both the inanimate objects which can be made to fly or stay up in the air and the organisms which can travel through the air. Activities lead students to explore the composition of the air, its pressure, the atmosphere and the changes in it which produce our...

Roads, Bridges and Tunnels

The Science in a Topic students’ book Roads, Bridges and Tunnels concerns the study of road networks and how they have been built to pass under or over obstacles such as mountains and rivers. Many different types of bridge are studied and the form of arches in tunnels considered. Students are lead to find out about...


Published by


Share this resource