Favorite STEM Picture Books: Science Edition

This is the first post in a series about some of my favorite STEM books. One of my favorite things is to use a book as a springboard for a STEM lesson. To keep from going on and on, I will try to limit myself to three books. These are in no particular order! If you want to find out more I have linked the pictures to Amazon.

1. Ada Twist, Scientist

This is the third book by this author/illustrator team and I love all of them. The story is about a child who is imaginative and curious - a great combination for a scientist. Ada did not speak until she was three, at which point she was a whirlwind on a fact-finding mission! She begins asking questions about anything and everything. Her parents try to keep up with her and are very supportive of her curiosity. By the time she goes to school Ada is turning her questions into scientific experiments. (If you read the other books, you will recognize Iggy and Rosie in her class as well as the teacher.)

This is a wonderful story to spark discussion about scientific inquiry, asking questions and teamwork. I used it last year with primary students and could have used it with intermediate also. Highly recommended!

2. Motion

This book is a great introduction to or review of forces and motion. I have used many STEM challenges with every grade level, and this book can be used from K to 5th (I found this year that even my 5th graders needed a bit of review of the concepts.) There is great science vocabulary in the text, including inertia and acceleration which may be new to many students. At the end of the book, there is even an experiments page. The two simple experiments both involve friction. My students liked this book when I used it last year and force and motion activities were highly engaging.

3. 11 Experiments That Failed

I talk about the importance of failure in STEM all the time. It's part of growth mindset lessons and I put up F A I L in big letters on the wall (First Attempt In Learning). I definitely want them to understand that we can learn so much from the failures and that the failures make the successes even sweeter!
The girl in this book reminds me of Ada Twist. She has questions, so she designs an experiment to test her hypothesis. Each time we get to see the process and find out what happened. Some questions:
  • Do dogs like to be covered in glitter?
  • Will a piece of bologna fly like a Frisbee?
  • Can a washing machine wash dishes?
And eight more. I like sharing this book one question at a time and letting kids predict what will happen when she tests it. It's a group book for talking about formulating a hypothesis that is testable.

So many books, so little space! If you don't follow me on Pinterest you may want to check out this board. I have just started it and it will be growing.

Part 2 of this series will be on Technology. See you next time.


  1. HI Julie, I just thought I'd tell you that I'm having a book review linky this summer called, Teacher Book Talk Tuesday. If you are going to be doing book reviews anyway, you might as well join the party! Can't hear about enough good books! Kathleen

    1. Thanks Kathleen! I love book linkys, so I'll definitely check it out.


  2. I already have Ada Twist, Scientist, and I just got the project book that goes with it. I'm going to look for the Motion book. Glad to hear about it and glad you linked up :) See you around. Kathleen

  3. Such great suggestions for books! THANKS for sharing them! I had promised myself that I was NOT going to purchase any more books for school... so much for that promise. Off to Amazon!


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