STEAM Activities in 30 ­Minutes for Elementary Learners

ALA ­Editions. Apr. 2020. 224p. pap. $49.99. ISBN 9780838946800.
Elementary school librarians who want to get their students thinking like scientists and designing like engineers should turn to Rinio’s collection of STEAM lessons. Mindful that library classes are often constrained by a 30-minute time frame and by frequent change of grade levels, Rinio has developed easily scaffolded lessons around a central topic. Lesson concepts are tied together by the National School Library Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the National Core Arts Standards. The lessons, meticulously planned and organized, begin with an overview, essential questions, and standards. The “Science Background for Educators” section offers support for librarians reviewing science concepts. While only easily found materials are required, librarians should allow time to collect resources and should consider needs like heat and water sources. Following the American Association of School Librarians’ shared foundations, the lessons include an assessment, tips for collaboration, further exploration, picture books that reflect the lessons’ themes, and a technology integration section, with information on how to use Google Sheets to document information, make predictions, analyze patterns, and create graphs. A helpful appendix contains instructions for using Google Sheets. Rounding out the work are chapters for librarians wishing to create their own STEAM lessons, examine strategies for collaboration, and create formative assessments.
VERDICT Incorporating STEAM in the library will stimulate curiosity in students, leading librarians to a wealth of opportunities to foster lifelong learners. Highly recommended for elementary school librarians seeking to prioritize STEAM.

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