I’m a fairly new science teacher (2nd year - career changer) and I’d like to incorporate science fiction into my curriculum to improve science literacy and up the engagement level of my newly hormonal tween students.
Our textbook is dreadfully dry, and a major leap in reading level from their previous elementary science textbook. They’re at that crucial age where they can go from science lovers to science phobics. I don’t want to lose them now, and we’ve got a couple of years before I have to worry about standardized test prep, so I can afford to be creative with my curriculum and keep them engaged.
I was (and still am) an avid reader in middle school, but I’m worried that my tastes may have been too “precocious” for some my current students, so I’m asking you guys to recommend some favorites.
I’m thinking along the lines of Heinlein’s Space Cadet, Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House and Player Piano, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Ursula LeGuin…
Do you think these are suitable for 11 to 13 year olds? They were my faves back then, but I’d like to get a broader range of input.
I teach both gifted and special ed, with a lot of ELL students (4 different languages). Short stories that reinforce basic science concepts would be perfect, but I don’t have enough time now that I’m teaching to search them out. Please help! I’m a long time lurker here so I know I can get some great advice.
Thanks in advance.