This isn’t strictly a review a such…It’s some thoughts about using a traditional text in the primary science classroom.
Earlier this year I asked a group of primary school teachers what books they used to introduce science ideas in the classroom and a couple of teachers said that they had used ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ Later, passing a charity shop in Williamstown, I spotted a lovely pop up copy of this classic tale and snapped it up for use in my workshop. I began thinking of all the fun things I could do with the three little pigs…if only I was a primary school teacher!
Three Little Pigs allows teachers to cover properties of materials and materials testing, particularly some of those early ideas in the chemistry strand. Also, students can make a hypothesis, design, test and evaluate, so it’s perfect for developing science inquiry skills .
Dress up, act it out…link literacy and science.
At Acle St-Edmunds school in the UK, students built houses out of various materials and tested them using a big bad wolf fan. They’ve uploaded photos to show how they tested the strength of their houses. I found a website dealing with supplementary materials such as posters and design sheets. Closer to home, some instructions for building houses with e-how family. I’m sure you’ll be able to find lots of ideas with only a few minutes trawling on the internet.
Look at different building materials, traditional and new. If you can find an old copy of Pearson’s Comet Magazine, isuue 1, 2006 contains an article on Earth houses; looking at unusual types of building materials such as straw-bale houses or mud-brick houses. There are teaching notes here.
National Curriculum applications: ( from /www.australiancurriculum.edu.au)
Chemical sciences (Foundation)
Objects are made of materials that have observable properties.
- sorting and grouping materials on the basis of observable properties such as colour, texture and flexibility
- thinking about how the materials used in buildings and shelters are suited to the local environment
Chemical sciences (Year 1)
Everydaymaterials can be physically changed in a variety of ways
Chemical sciences (Year 2)
Different materials can be combined, including by mixing, for a particular purpose
- exploring the local environment to observe a variety of materials, and describing ways in which materials are used
- investigating the effects of mixing materials together
- suggesting why different parts of everyday objects such as toys and clothes are made from different materials
- identifying materials such as paper that can be changed and remade or recycled into new products
Chemical sciences (Year 4)
Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; These properties can influence their use
- describing a range of common materials, such as metals or plastics, and their uses
- investigating a particular property across a range of materials
- selecting materials for uses based on their properties
- considering how the properties of materials affect the management of waste or can lead to pollution
Science Inquiry Skills (all levels)
- Questioning and Predicting
- Planning and Conducting
- Pocessing and Analysing