Promoting STEAM through books
Kieran Land is Primary Science Development Officer (STEAM) for Fife Council. He has developed a series of resources to support teachers using the Read, Write, Count bags in their classrooms.
As Primary Science Development Officer for Fife, I was interested in capitalising on the Read, Write, Count Campaign which gifts books to all P1 to P3 children. The children will receive a free bag with books, counting games and writing materials. This case study looks to give an insight into how to plan for Science and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) through books.
In Fife Council, one of our priorities within education is to develop our STEAM curriculum and to look at all the ways in which we can raise aspirations in science education. My aim was to help teachers to make the most of the Read, Write, Count bags and develop planning sheets to help embed science through fiction and non-fiction texts.
I am hoping this will increase teacher confidence in science through teaching it in a familiar context, to reduce anxiety by providing lesson plans and to make science fun.
What We Did
In term 1, all schools in Scotland receive Read, Write, Count bags. This year the books for Primary 2 are A Tale of Two Beasts and Open Very Carefully. Primary 3 will receive the Collins Picture Atlas and There is No Dragon in This Story. Primary 1 pupils receive the shortlist for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.
To help practitioners plan for Science and STEAM activities using the books as a stimulus, we have developed a planning overview and two science lessons built around our STEAM folder. We will host the planners and science lessons on the STEAMFife SharePoint site within Glow and distribute these to a mailing list via email before Book Week Scotland. The documents are also attached at the bottom of this blog post.
We have a number of pilot schools including Carnegie primary school, Warout Primary school and Newcastle primary school. All schools in Fife will have access to these resources, as does anyone who wishes to use them. The pilot schools have additional staff meetings to talk through the planners and discuss how to imbed this approach within a gifting process.
We aim to collect data through surveys to measure how practitioners used the gifted books previously and how they used them after being provided with these planning sheets. We aim to collect information about how the books have been used and if we have supported the planning of science.
For more information please contact: Kieran Land - Primary Science Development Officer (STEAM) for Fife Council or @STEAMFife
If you would like to link your Bookbug P1 Family Bags or Read, Write Count bags to Science and STEAM, you can access Kieran’s planning sheets below. You can also find our Gifting ideas and teacher packs for the Read Write Count bags, including home learning ideas here.