It'll come as no surprise we believe reading books about STEM is essential for kids, but there's more than curiosity or interest at stake. Kids who are exposed to STEM-related texts have the advantage of developing vocabulary, knowledge and complex literacy skills.
An added bonus? They'll also get to see all the fresh ways that STEM and the people involved have contributed to the world we live in. Let's dig in further, shall we?
Understand Informational Texts:
Non-fiction texts require a different set of skills than reading fiction. Since they make up the most significant portion of content kids will encounter as they age and in STEM fields, it's vital for them to be able to understand their unique text features (e.g., captions, charts, glossary, etc.)
Learn to Navigate Digital TextsBetween the rise of online magazines, digital newspapers and ebook access, the kids in our lives will likely read a lot of content online. Processing text online is different than print, so kids need to be guided in everything from the practice of skimming for information to deciding if the information is accurate to utilizing the device. These skills will help them with everything from future research to coding.
Build Background KnowledgeReading helps kids learn more about the world around them— from understanding how things are made, to where animals live to introducing them to people who made cool stuff. The more a child knows about the world, the more easily they’ll be able to draw on this knowledge to navigate concepts found while reading and ultimately, while pursuing STEM.
Pique Interest in STEM TopicsProvide plenty of reading materials that include STEM topics. Visit the library or bookstore to pick out content for all ages. There is no shortage of books to choose from starting with picture books to older material. Looking for inspiration? A few of our favourites include Rosie Revere, Engineer, and To Burp or Not to Burp.
Organize Complicated InformationAlong with reading STEM-related topics, it's the conversation that follows the text that helps children begin to understand how to organize the information presented logically. Plan to both show kids, and give them opportunities, to take notes (both offline and online), weigh information, follow instructions and find the answers to their questions through reading informational text.
What better way to find a role model in STEM than being inspired by those who came before? Read books that show people of all genders, ethnicities, and abilities contributing to science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. When kids see themselves reflected, they see future possibilities.
With these six skills in mind, we'd love to know how you'll plan to incorporate STEM into the literacy activities for the kids in your life?