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Like many other professionals, scientists often work in teams. While teamwork is a vital skill in today’s workplace, it is also essential in the classroom. The following mentor texts can help your students examine how members of a team work together. Close reading and discussion of these titles can also provide an opportunity to implement the Common Core State Standards, including English Language Arts Reading Anchor Standard 3: “Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.” These titles will reinforce for students the idea that real-world problems aren’t always solved right away. Teamwork takes time, and real-world problem solving means adapting to ever-changing situations.
Meeting the Challenge
Travel to both poles with a man and his dog in Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure, by Samantha Seiple. Find out how one man’s question led another to develop a new way to photograph motion in Muybridge and the Riddle of Locomotion, by Marta Braun.
Explore the story of Puerto Rico and see how scientists worked together to save the parrots in Parrots over Puerto Rico, by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore. Watch field scientist Patricia Medici’s team at work in The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal, by Sy Montgomery.
In the Sea
Follow the action of a team of doctors and trainers after a hurricane in Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival, by Janet Wyman Coleman. Visit biologist Janet Mann’s team of scientists in western Australia and see how they study unique dolphins in The Dolphins of Shark Bay, by Pamela S. Turner.
Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure. By Samantha Seiple. 2013. 192p. illus. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545562768); Scholastic, e-book, $16.99 (9780545562775). 919.89. Gr. 4–7.
The Dolphins of Shark Bay. By Pamela S. Turner. 2013. 80p. illus. Houghton, $18.99 (9780547716381). 599.53. Gr. 5–8.
Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival. By Janet Wyman Coleman. Illus. by Yan Nascimbene. 2013. 40p. Houghton, $16.99 (9780547719238). 599.5309763. Gr. 1–4.
Muybridge and the Riddle of Locomotion. By Marta Braun. 2013. 24p. illus. Firefly, $19.95 (9781770852297). 770.92. Gr. 3–5.
Parrots over Puerto Rico. By Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore. Illus. by Susan L. Roth. 2013. 48p. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781620140048). 597. Gr. 2–5.
The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal. By Sy Montgomery. Illus. by Nic Bishop. 2013. 80p. Houghton, $18.99 (9780547815480). 599.66. Gr. 5–8.
Anastasia Suen, the author of 166 books for children and adults, has taught students from kindergarten to college. Visit her website at www.asuen.com.
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