October 12, 2015 by libraryheather
Program Title: Scientists Read!
Target Age Range: 3-8 years old with caregivers
Program Length: 30-60 minutes
Learn what scientists do at their jobs and listen to them read their favorite children’s books!
Supplies: None, unless you need a felt board or additional small table for one of your presenters. If you have any hands-on science activities for the kids (such as those listed in our Hands-On Science Museum post, coloring sheets, etc), those will be needed too.
Cost: $0 -50
-You may be asked to help your scientist guests pick an age-appropriate nonfiction book about their field, as well as recommended fictional read-alouds.
-Optional: Set up any hands-on science activities.
1. Welcome and introductions.
2. Scientist talks about their job: 5-10 minutes
3. Scientist reads 2-3 books: 15-20 minutes
4. Questions & Answers: 5 minutes
5. Optional: An additional 25-30 minutes of hands-on science activities.
Special Instructions and Procedures:
What each scientist wants or may need to do in their storytime will vary (of course!). We helped each of our scientists pick out nonfiction books related to their fields (as well as fictional read-alouds upon their request). We made a custom flannel board for one guest. By and large, only minimal preparation and set-up was necessary.
Our program lasted 60 minutes–30 minutes of storytime, 30 minutes of hands-on science activities. We used 3-4 stations from our Hands-On Science Museum (which we set up around the room before the program began), but this isn’t necessary. You could do coloring sheets or other simple, low-cost activities related to your guest speaker’s field.
Resources Used: None
Additional Resources: None
What we would do differently:
We did a series of 6 Scientists Read storytimes over the course of one summer. Though we happen to know several scientists, it wasn’t easy to find 6 people in diverse fields who were available on 6 specific dates during the summer (of course–they have full-time jobs!). There’s really nothing that can be done about that, but we wanted to give a heads up to make plans well in advance. If you don’t know any scientists, perhaps reach out to a local university or engineering company who might be willing to put you in contact with someone. Also, you don’t have to do a series of these storytimes…if you only do 1 or 2, that’s totally fine!
Adaptation for older/younger audience:
We didn’t set an age restriction for this program, and that worked well.