In my work with elementary students and elementary teachers (inservice and preservice) I love to use children’s literature to introduce the engineering design process in NGSS. Learning about engineering design can feel overwhelming for some folks (I’m mostly talking about adults here) and I find that using picture books provides a welcoming, engaging and positive experience that hopefully can launch fruitful engineering experiences in the classroom with K-5 students.
Below is a list of picture books that I’ve used with a variety of audiences to teach kids and adults about engineering design. The links will connect you to the books themselves (most of these are common in school libraries) and also to free lesson guides for each book. Each resource has been assigned to specific grade levels and aligned to specific CCSS & NGSS standards but the books could be used at any grade level. Let me know if you use (or have used) any of these books- I’d love to hear how these books and lessons work with learners.
NOTE: Just reading these books to students (or adults) does not constitute a complete engineering design learning experience. These books and guides are designed as anchor lessons that can help launch full engineering lessons and units.
|Grade||Picture Books (Amazon Links)||Teacher Guide Link|
|Pre- K||Stuck by Oliver Jeffers||Stuck TG|
|K||Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe||Monkey TG|
|1||If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen||If I Built a Car TG|
|2||If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen||If I Built a House TG|
|3||Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri||Those Darn Squirrels TG|
|4||Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty||Rosie Revere Eng TG|
|5||Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming||Papa’s Mechanical Fish TG|
|ALL||Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet||Many of the above guides refer to readings from this informational text- an excellent book.|