Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

I am in the initial planning stage of putting together a "History of Science" course for my 13 yo son (entering 8th grade). This will be more of a history course rather than a science course as I am planning to incorporate timeline work and writing into it. Joy Hakim's The Story of Science books will serve as the spine. I have a couple of ideas for other readings, too, but I need help choosing 4-6 scientist biographies to add into the plans.

 

When I started making a list of possible biographies, I realized that there is quite a bit from which to choose. What are your favorite scientist biographies? Reading levels could range from upper elementary through high school.

 

Also...if anyone has ideas for specific "science history" writing topics or sources, I'd love to hear about them. My son is going to be using MCT's

Essay Voyage next year; I have seen several writing assignments in it that could be used with this course, but I'm always open to other ideas.

 

Thanks in advance,

Jetta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for these new suggestions. I had thought about both the Tiner and Galen/gateway books; I think I will add them to the list. The Hakim books focus on physical science so it would be nice to have some life science bios.

 

Jennifer (and anyone else), if you think of something else, please post!

 

JudoMom, I've looked at the Milestones kit umpteen times. It would be a perfect addition if this were going to be a science-oriented course. But I'm trying to make it more history-oriented. My son will be doing BJU's Physical Science for his science course.

 

Thanks again,

Jetta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Librarian Who Measure the Earth by Kathryn Lasky

 

Gutenberg by Leonard Everett Fisher

 

The ones below are in Sonlight's curriculum. I just went through and picked out ones that we enjoyed.

 

Listening to Crickets by Candice F. Ransom (about Rachel Carson)

 

Marie Curie's Search for Radium by Beverly Birch

 

Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion by Andrea Gianopoulos (this is a graphic - as in cartoon - book)

 

Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes by Beverly Birch

Bell and the Science of the Telephone by Brian Williams

 

The Story of Inventions (Usborne) This isn't about only one scientist/inventor. It is a story of the progression of inventions. My kids liked this book a lot.

 

Are you including mathematicians in this category?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ds enjoyed reading about Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein last year (7th grade) when we were studying chemistry and physics.

 

For life sciences, of course, you would want to include a Charles Darwin bio, or even his Origin of the Species.

 

Leonardo DaVinci would be another good one to read about, as he was an inventor as well as an artist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ds enjoyed reading about Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein last year (7th grade) when we were studying chemistry and physics.

 

For life sciences, of course, you would want to include a Charles Darwin bio, or even his Origin of the Species.

 

Leonardo DaVinci would be another good one to read about, as he was an inventor as well as an artist.

 

I didn't even think about the "Who Was..." Series. They are very good, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Galileo for Kids

 

This is another very good one. It is presented as a biography but also has activities. I love the feel of the book, too. It is on heavy, glossy paper. It looks like there is a series of these books with some more scientists as the subject.

 

I have this one on Galileo as well. It is another favorite and is more of a picture book but not too young for logic stage kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm on a roll here. ;)

 

If you look up Fiona McDonald on Amazon and get to about the sixth page you begin to find her science biographies. She has a couple of 20th century scientists in there(Edwin Hubble, for example), which is why I thought it was worth mentioning. She also has Inside the Beagle with Charles Darwin. It looks like she was also involved in a series about scientists and inventors called "Groundbreakers" and possibly "Giants of Science".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not what you perhaps are looking for but I highly recommend it for grade 8 & up. It's a thoughtful, moving TRUE story of the history of HeLa cells that scientists still use today for many different kinds of research. I recommend reading it with your dc - you'll both love it and LEARN a lot!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Life-Henrietta-Lacks/dp/1400052181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305807539&sr=8-1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you looked at The beautiful Guide called A History of Science for book ideas as well? I thought it too young for mine to use as a guide but I didn't give it more than a cursory flip through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see him mentioned yet. He was an American scientist, inventor, botanist and educator - fascinating man!! My girls just today finished this book by Eva Moore and really liked it:

 

http://www.amazon.com/George-Washington-Carver-Scholastic-Biography/dp/0590426605/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1305869458&sr=8-4

 

Ambleside Online has wonderful suggestions - you can check their science biography lists listed under each year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW!

 

These lists and suggestions will keep me busy for a while. Thank goodness that we won't start back to school until July! ;)

 

I'm especially appreciative for being reminded about Rachel Carson. I have a book about her that I had been saving until my son got older. I had completely forgotten about it!

 

I think my son will thoroughly enjoy this coming year's break from the history cycle. He is probably headed to a science career...possibly meteorology or astronomy. I want him to have more than just a knowledge of the men and women who have been instrumental in forming science as we know it today...I want him to have a feel for their inspiration and determination. We read both a Wright Bros. bio and a George Washington Carver bio this year that showed just that...their unending determination. I hope to find some more good bios like those from these suggestions.

 

Anyway, thank you all.

Jetta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are branching out from just the classic books and well known scientists, you might consider Lads Before the Wind by Karen Pryor. She was not really a scientist when she wrote the book, but gradually became one of the big names in animal behavior.

 

The book details her experiences in learning how to train dolphins before much was known about them at all. She worked with several well known animal behaviorists to figure out how to work with the dolphins and discusses working with them and what she learned from each.

 

IMO, this is one of the best books I ever read explaining operant conditioning and how to train animals. I think most 13yo's would find it fascinating reading. I wasn't as excited about Pryor's later books, some are good but not as interesting as Lads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

There was a book posted about Robert Boyle before, but I haven't seen that one.

 

I checked out "Robert Boyle, founder of modern chemistry" by Harry Sootin from the big city library & found it a good (higher level) read (vs. the Ages 9-12 on the previous book). It mixes in some English history (Irish vs. England, Charles I, Cromwell, Charles II) with the science.

 

It is part of the "Immortals of Science" series if you want to look that up for more ideas. I'm adding a book on the finding of Pluto (1930 in Flagstaff, Arizona) to our (American) history studies this year.

 

:tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I highly recommend Kathleen Krull's Giants of Science series.

 

I hope I don't get any tomatos thrown at me for mentioning this. We read her bio on Isaac Newton, and it was very engaging and informative, better than any other bios available at our library. However, I am glad that I pre-read it and was able to discuss it with my son before I handed him the book. The author does mention that he possibly had a relationship with another man that would explain a period of depression in Newton's life after the relationship ended.

 

As a parent, I would want to know this content before handing it to my child - which is why I mention it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...