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Building Science Concepts

This series of 64 books is for primary school teachers in years 1-6.

The books provide a structured approach for teaching of science concepts. They build students' understanding from simple to more complex scientific ideas, relating them to students' existing understandings of the world around them. The books align with curriculum levels 1 to 4. 

List of titles  – select topics that fit your school curriculum

Down the back of the Chair – online catalogue of teaching and learning resources for schools, kura and ECE

Building Science Concepts: Titles and concept overviews – helps you decide what the students need to think about next

Other useful feature of the books are they:

  • have activities that support the intended learning (adapt these to suit the learners)
  • include activities from other resources that also help develop the selected concepts
  • provide diagnostic activities so you can find out what your students already think and why they think that
  • include science notes which help you:
    • refresh your science understanding of the topic
    • gain awareness of potential misconceptions your students may bring to the topic
  • allow you to make informed decisions about how far to progress through the concept overview.

The pedagogical ideas behind the series, based on research into how children learn, are described here.

Reading about and reflecting on these ideas will be useful for all teachers of science regardless of whether or not they are using this series.

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A table of titles which allows teachers to search by level and contextual strand is included in this section.

Each title has an associated concept overview in PDF format.

Learn more