For K-5 science and language arts teachers, Science Verse by Jon Scieszka can be a great tool for strengthening students’ appreciation of poetry, reinforcing science lessons – and having fun in the process. The author, who taught elementary school for ten years, uses well-known songs and poems like the Battle Hymn of the Republic and Paul Revere’s Ride as frames for silly science verse that still manages to convey important scientific facts about the food chain, the big bang, forms of matter, and metamorphosis, to name a few of the science topics covered.
The science poetry is playful and pairs beautifully with Lane Smith’s dynamic mixed-media artwork. The poems are presented within a narrative of a student being “zapped with a curse of science verse” by his teacher. Grade school students will empathize with the beleaguered boy’s trials as he is surrounded by dinosaurs, attempts to stay awake during a lesson on planets, and endures an unwelcome transition from pupa to beetle.
At ReadWriteThink.org, you can find a lesson plan, based on Scieszka’s book, in which students write their own science verses.
Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Recommended for ages 8-12
Widely available at most children’s books stores and at Bank Street Books and Amazon.com