|Booklist for Electrical Circuits (By Mary W. Thomas)|| |
usually taught at fourth grade, is one of the Elementary Science
Program's most popular units. Students work with batteries, wires and
bulbs to build knowledge and understanding about electricity. As a
supplement to activities and experiments, literature can help students
create a conceptual understanding of their observations. In addition,
books can help a student grasp the broader context of a particular idea.
Some of the books listed below are biographies of individuals involved
in the development of electrical technology. By reading about these
famous people and learning of their struggle to learn and invent,
students are given models of scientists which go beyond the "white coat
and crazy hair" stereotype.
Recommended for Students
The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen. Scholastic Press, 1997.
Frizzle leads her class in yet another adventure when they explore
electricity. This text successfully provides a "big picture" about
electricity and how it is generated when the class visits a power plant.
In addition, an explanation of how a motor works makes this book
equally appropriate for students using the Electromagnetism unit.
Simple Electrical Devices by Martin J. Gutnik. Franklin Watts, 1986.
Students and teachers of Electrical Circuits and Electromagnetism
may really enjoy the explanations and project ideas in this book.
Content in the beginning of the book closely parallels the scope of the Electrical Circuits
unit. In addition, there are sections that contain information on light
bulbs, electromagnetic devices, motors and generators, and the
telephone. Black and white illustrations accompany the text.
The Story of Thomas Alva Edison, Inventor: The Wizard of Menlo Park by Margaret Davidson. Scholastic, 1964.
book has a more thorough treatment of Edison's inventions than some
other biographies though the text is somewhat dated. There is an
excellent chapter about the invention of the incandescent light bulb and
the development of its filament. The text is double spaced and
appropriate for fourth grade readers.
Switch On, Switch Off by Melvin Berger. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1989.
"Let's Read and Find Out Science Book" provides an overview of
electrical power in an easy reader format. The content includes
information about switches, power generators, electric wires and light
bulbs. It is appropriate for students of both Electrical Circuits and Electromagnetism units.
Thomas Alva Edison: Great Inventor by David A. Adler. Holiday House, 1990.
this "First Biography", the author describes the life of Edison from
early childhood. Interesting in part because of his many failures,
Edison always said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine
percent perspiration." Beautiful black and white illustrations accompany
the text. The book includes a section about invention of the light
Thomas Edison and Electricity by Steve Parker. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.
biography includes more photographs and illustrations than most other
books about Edison. The text is interesting and similar to others, but
may be slightly more challenging reading for fourth grade students.
What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? by Jean Fritz. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. 1976.
biography is filled with interesting anecdotal stories about the famous
Revolutionary War era statesman and inventor. The "big idea" referred
to in the title is that electricity and lightning are the same thing.
Students may be surprised to learn about the many ideas and abilities of
this extraordinary person.
Recommended for Teachers
Basic Electricity, Revised Edition by Van Valkenburgh, Nooger & Neville, Inc. Hayden Book Company, 1982.
text provides a great deal of background information to teachers in a
concise manner. It includes basic content about electricity, magnetism
and electromagnetism and, as such, would be a good reference for Electrical Circuits, Magnetism, and Electromagnetism. This book reads like a high school or college text and is, therefore, not appropriate for fourth or fifth grade students.
Invention and Technology, Great Lives by Milton Lomask. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1991.
stories about many historical figures in science and technology are
included in this well written book. While well above a fourth grade
reading level, it contains many interesting anecdotes about the 27
diverse individuals who dedicated their lives to invention and
Wires and Watts by Irwin Math. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981.
This book, as well as another by the same author entitled More Wires and Watts, will provide a teacher with additional background information for both Electrical Circuits and Electromagnetism units. The author uses wiring diagrams (schematics) to show electrical projects that can extend the units.