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Science Resources for the Second Grade Classroom: Earth Materials

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Dazzling minerals and talking worms are only some of what's in store on this "rockin" book list! Get your second graders ready to learn all about what our world is made of. Below, you'll find great resources on dirt, sand, rocks, and other earthly materials. Feedback is greatly appreciated — please leave comments and suggestions below!

Nonfiction

Steve Tomecek’s Rocks and Minerals is a rock-solid read aloud. Lots of student-friendly illustrations assist in explaining the more complex topics.

Experiments with Rocks and Minerals is part of Scholastic’s True Book series. Some of the language and concepts may be a bit sophisticated for second graders, but the content and experiments are rich and worth exploring.

Soil is also part of the Scholastic True Book series, and is an age-appropriate nonfiction resource. A glossary and resources for additional learning are included. By Christin Ditchfield.

The Dirt on Dirt. Lots of great fun facts and information are provided in this well-titled book by Paulette Bourgois. This title is recommended as a reference resource for teachers and librarians. Illustrated by Martha Newbigging.

Also, check out the Jump into Science series. There's a book on dirt and one for sand!

Picture Books

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin is a funny, diary-style account of the challenges and benefits of a being a worm. Students can listen and read along to this book through NYPL’s Tumble Book database. It's also available (with a nonfiction companion) through Bookflix.

If Rocks Could Sing features beautiful photographs of rocks that look like letters of the alphabet, with an artistic introduction to a unit on rocks. By Leslie McGuirk.

If You Find a Rock. Hand-colored photographs accompany Peggy Christian’s prose about the different kinds of rocks perhaps already familiar to children — the kinds for skipping, resting, and drawing. This is a great supplement to some of the more technical resources mentioned above. Check out the accompanying lesson plan, courtesy of PBS (pages 17-18).

Yucky Worms by Vivian French. This funny and informational story provides lots of reasons to love (or at least appreciate!) worms.

Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! Join Buddy (the bear) and his mom on a rock walk at the Nature Center. This book introduces young students to different kinds of rock, erosion, and petrology through accessible narrative and illustrations and photographs.

Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. This beautiful picture book tells the story of a magical town built by children using rocks and pebbles.

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