The 102 pages of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) may seem dry and daunting, but I have a secret that makes them absolutely riveting. While yCactus Hotel - Booksourceou read them listen for great books shouting in the background! Take the Kindergarten ESS3-1, for example. It states “Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals and the places they live.” When I read this, Cactus Hotel (Grades K-2, Level K, Lexile 700) shouted “Pick me! Pick me!” This title engages students (some who may never have seen a desert in their lives) to learn about how the cactus’s very birth was enabled by the desert animals that it now helps survive.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Picture books about animals are easy to get Kindergarteners excited about. What about my middle schoolers?Space, Stars and the Beginning of Time - BooksourceGalaxies by Seymour Simon - Booksource How will I use the standards to ignite a passion for science in them?” Again, listen for those books shouting in the background. Middle School ESS1-2 states, “Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.” Maybe that doesn’t sound very exciting, but read that standard again while thinking about Galaxies (Grades 3-6, Level T, Lexile 1010) by Seymour Simon or Space, Stars, And The Beginning Of Time (Grades 3-7, Lexile 1180) by Elaine Scott. Didn’t gravity and the motion of the galaxies just get way more exciting?

These are just a few examples of the great titles that were clamoring for our attention when we created our NGSS collections. Check out the links below to see which titles made the cut for our collections at each grade level.

Important Note about Our NGSS Collections
You may have noticed that some of our groupings don’t seem to match up to the standards. The reason for this is that the NGSS were recently updated. We have reviewed the new standards and are currently in the process of updating our collections. While many groupings have changed, it’s important to understand that the actual content for each grade level is the same. For example, weather used to be grouped with earth science, but now is its own focus. So, while the collection titles may not match up exactly, they are likely still relevant to the NGSS.

Look for our updated NGSS collections coming soon!

NGSS and Common Core
Using trade books with NGSS will not only build background knowledge, but also meet standards found in the Common Core. In my Kindergarten example above, students will be able to ask and answer questions about key details (RI.K.1), identify the main topic and retell key details (RI.K.2), connect two pieces of information in a text (RI.K.3), and describe the relationship between the illustrations and the text (RI.K.7). In middle school, we are not only meeting numerous reading standards, but are within the recommended Lexile ranges for middle school.

Not Sure if Your State Will Adopt NGSS?
Don’t let that stop you from getting our NGSS collections! These collections offer high quality and engaging science books—something that all schools need. Students will be learning, reading and loving it, all while standards are being met or exceeded.