Teaching science through stories

Children’s stories provide a great context for learning science. Explore our resource packages based around popular children’s books and discover the science hidden in a book. Resources include book summaries, hints and tips for teaching the science and further stories on a similar theme.

They are organised into three age groups:

5-7   7-9   9-11

5 -7 years

  • Handa's surprise

    Handa's Surprise would make a great starting point about the needs of living things linked to diet and the specific needs of humans. 

    NEEDS OF LIVINGS THINGS, DIETS AND ANIMALS

  • Jack and the Beanstalk

    The story of Jack and the Beanstalk  makes a great starting point for teaching the topic of plants yo younger primary aged children.

    PLANTS

  • LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

    As Little Red Riding Hood is set in a wood, it makes a lovely starting point for finding out about habitats.

    HABITATS AND FOOD CHAINS

  • ONCE THERE WERE GIANTS

    Support children to understand that all animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults.

    ANIMALS INCLUDING HUMANS AND LIFECYCLES

  • ONE YEAR WITH KIPPER

    One Year with Kipper provides a nice link into work on Seasonal Change as children work to observe changes across the four seasons.

    seasons and weather

  • RSPB: MY FIRST BOOK OF GARDEN BIRDS

    My First Book of Garden Birds helps to meet the objective to ​identify and name a variety of common  birds.  

  • TADPOLE'S PROMISE

    Tadpole's Promise is a great story to use when exploring life cycles and helping children to describe the difference in the life cycle of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird. 

    LIFECYCLES

     

  • THE GRUFFALO

    The Gruffalo can support children to learn more about habitats and  to identify and name a variety of plants and animals in different habitats, including micro-habitats.

    IDENTIFYING AND NAMING ANIMALS

     

  • THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

    Help children to think about identifying different materials and considering what properties they have and how this suits them for different purposes.

    MATERIALS AND THEIR USES

7 - 9 years

  • Charlie and the chocolate factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl provides a good context to learn about states of matter.


    STATES OF MATTER

  • Horrid Henry Rocks

    Horrid Henry Rocks is a great book to start teaching about sound and exploring how sounds are made.

    SOUND

     

  • The Firework-Maker's Daughter

    The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman is a good starting point for teaching about light.


    LIGHT

     

  • the iron man
     

    The Iron Man is the perfect story to explain how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some material and not others.


    FORCES And magnetism
     

  • The little mole who knew it was none of his business

    This funny tale creates a great setting through which children can explore simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans.


    DIGESTION

  • the pebble in my pocket
     

    Pebble In My Pocket tells the dynamic story of rock formation; showing  the reader the processes that the pebble goes through from its beginnings in a fiery volcano 480 million years ago.

    ROCKS AND SOILS

  • the story of frog belly rat bone

    The story of Frog Belly Rat Bone provides a good setting for investigating plants and their benefits to our environment.

    PLANTS

  • the vanishing rainforest

    The Vanishing Rainforest by Richard Platt is  a good book for looking at the human impact on the environment, in particular deforestation.

    HUMAN IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

  • wolves

    Wolves is a brilliant setting for constructing and interpreting a variety of food chains, as well as identifying producers, predators and prey.

    FOODCHAINS

     

9-11 years

  • BEETLE BOY

    Beetle Boy provides a nice way to link to work on classification of invertebrates.

    CLASSIFICATION

  • CHARLOTTE'S WEB

    This is the perfect story to compare the lifecycles of different animals and plants.

    LIFECYCLES

     

  • PIG HEART BOY

    Pig Heart Boy provides a good setting for learning about the heart and circulation.

    CIRCULATION

     

  • George's Secret Key To The Universe

    Geroge's Secret Key to the Universe is a fun read and contains lots of factual sections for help with teaching about the solar system.

    SOLAR SYSTEMS
     

  • Goodnight Mr Tom

    This wartime story is ideal for exploring the uses of electricity and how circuits work.


    ELECTRICITY

  • itch

    Itch is an action-backed story in which is great for finding out more about changes of state.


    CHANGES OF STATE

  • Kensuke's Kingdom

    Kensuke’s Kingdom is full of opportunities to explore properties of materials, you can even use the context of survival scenarios linked to the book.

    PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS

  • ONE SMART FISH

    One Smart Fish by Christopher Wormell provides a meaningful context for learning about adaptations and evolution.


    EVOLUTION AND INHERITANCE

  • The Tin Snail

    The Tin Snail by Cameron McAllister provides a context for learning about forces and mechanisms, including levers, pulleys and gears.


    FORCES AND ENGINEERING

     

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