An eBook, I Live Where I Live Because… created by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), aims to convey key concepts of natural science to elementary school students in an engaging way. The first two chapters of the book invite children to think and draw possible causes behind mysterious changes in peppered moths’ appearance. The book does not explicitly tell why dark moths replaced the light ones by 1900. Instead, the authors give relatively subtle hints, engaging the students in theory crafting. After providing the children with an opportunity to demonstrate logical thinking and make their guesses, the book links the story of peppered moths with natural science context. In particular, the NSTA collective explains the main idea of Darwin’s evolution theory — an adaptation of organisms to their environment (NSTA, 2017). Children can learn how different plants and animals adapt to various natural conditions and grasp a basic understanding of evolution. As a result, elementary students obtain fundamental knowledge, which is helpful for learning biology in higher grades.
However, the NSTA authors did not limit the learning process to reading and thinking, which might have been boring for children. Instead, the book utilizes an interactive approach as a critical element that ensures children’s engagement. Questions and practical tasks follow every reading and thinking section. Interactive content in I Lives Where I Live Because…is not designed to be difficult — the simple “drag-and-drop” or “connect elements” tasks are quite easy and intended to reward children with a sense of accomplishment. Finally, the concluding section of the eBook consists of summary chapters and a glossary that helps students reinforce their new knowledge. Overall, I Live Where I Live Because…has the potential to spark further interest in natural science and biology in children. Therefore, it should be considered a solid effort to create interactive learning material for the elementary school level.
NSTA. (2017). I live where I live because… NSTA. Web.