Are you looking for a good mentor text to introduce the concepts of the scientific method to your students? Perhaps you are about to have a science fair? Or maybe you are just looking for a text to remind students that no one is perfect? This week’s mentor text, 11 Experiments That Failed, may be just what you are looking for!
This week, I’d like to introduce you to the mentor text 11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill. In this text, “a young child tries a series of wacky experiments, such as seeing if a piece of bologna will fly like a Frisbee and determining whether seedlings will grow if watered with expensive perfume, and then must suffer the consequences of experiments gone awry.”
What is interesting about this book is the way it is set up. First, it is not set up like a traditional storybook. It is almost set up in a ‘Scientific-Method-Lab-sheet’ kind of way. (See below a picture of a few pages of the text). It begins with the question, the hypothesis formed, materials needed, step by step what you need to do and what happened (or the results). Of course, the results are typically the consequences of his choices.
This book would be a great way to introduce the terminology of the scientific method, along with preparing students for it. The humor in the book would definitely get students excited and thinking about how incredibly cool science is (because hey, science IS incredibly cool! I’m definitely not biased or anything!). If you really wanted to, you could easily have students take an experiment, such as the seedlings watered with perfume, and turn it into a real lab experiment by writing it more formally.
Either way, it’s a cute book that is sure to pique some interest in science! You can grab this book (aff. link) on Amazon for your classroom today. Just click here for your copy of 11 Experiments that Failed.