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Biblio astro : premier degré, documentaires/non - fiction

by Marie Musset last modified Jul 12, 2012 04:41 PM
Documents pour l’enseignant, littérature jeunesse, documentaire : vous trouverez ci- dessous des idées de lecture, en français ou en anglais, leur présentation par l’éditeur et le cas échéant un lien vers un site ressource.

* Jankowski Connie. Astronomers : from Copernicus to Crisp. Science. 2009, Compass Point/Capstone.


The "Mission: Science" series covers core science topics as well as individual and collective biographies of scientists. For extra depth, volumes of each can be paired. Colorful pages contain illustrations, text in various fonts, and sidebars or "Did You Know?" balloons. In this volume, readers will meet famous early astronomers like Copernicus (1473--1543), who argued that our earth and other planets move around the sun, mathematician Johannes Kepler, who developed laws of planetary motion, and Galileo, who built a better telescope and discovered Jupiter's moons and the phases of Venus (not discussed here, though his conflict with the Church is mentioned). Some lesser-known astronomers introduced to middle readers are Benjamin Banneker, the first African-American astronomer, and Mary Somerville, the first woman to present her research to England's Royal Astronomical Society. Working with ever more powerful telescopes, twentieth-century astronomer George Ellery Hale founded three observatories, Edwin Hubble discovered other galaxies in the universe, and astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar described white dwarf stars and black holes. Especially dramatic are the pages about NASA's four huge space telescopes; female readers may be encouraged by information about present-day astronomers Jocelyn Bell Burnell (who helped discover pulsars) and Joy Crisp, who chose tools for the Mars rovers. Included are a timeline of astronomy and an illustrated list of facts about the scientists featured in the book. While each biography is very brief, the presentation is appealing enough to inspire beginning astronomers to pursue more in-depth research.

* Andronik Catherine M. Copernicus: Founder of Modern Astronomy. Enslow Publishers, 2009

Do you need an easily read biography for a book report or character portrayal assignment? Your first thought may not be of Nicolaus Kopernik, but this title in the "Great Minds of Science" series would be an interesting choice and one to be remembered. While doing extraordinarily well in school, young Nicolaus was curious about nearly everything and was especially fascinated with astronomy. Studying every spare moment he could find as his uncle's personal physician and secretary, he realized his heart was in the stars and focused his leisure moments studying the heavens. We also are reminded of the origin of the phrase: "Renaissance man," as Copernicus exemplified the definition of such. Readers are challenged to discern for themselves what this means. Though Copernicus' life seems idyllic to many, it was not without controversy. Copernicus' proposal that the heliocentric theory was in fact correct met with great dissention, as the previous scientists believed that the earth was the center of the universe. It was not until at least a century had passed that his findings were deemed correct--and finally accepted. Some things are never realized during our lifetime! Following the text are some activities that portray Copernicus' discoveries and findings and can easily be done at home, a chronology, a well done bibliography, and an index for further exploration.



* Bailey Gerry & Foster Karen. Galileo's Telescope

2009, Crabtree Publishing,


This book is part of the Stories of Great People Series that are available in thirteen titles. A blend of narrative and non-fiction, each biography begins with the discovery of an object by Hannah and her younger brother Digby from Mr. Rummage's stall at the antique market. The objects, ranging from Mozart's wig and Galileo's telescope, to Queen Victoria's diamond and the sandals worn by Julius Caesar spurn Mr. Rummage, antique dealer, to recount fascinating stories of the objects and their famous owners. The text alternates between pages of non-fiction text to the contemporary narrative, which involves Mr. Rummage explaining some of the ideas of the text in greater detail, or answering questions from Hannah and Digby, similar to those young readers might pose as they read. The narrative is filled with attractive coloured illustrations, humourously showing the siblings wearing costumes of the period. Captioned coloured illustrations and portraits accompany the text of the book, which is written under headings. A table of contents, index and glossary are found in all books. These books would make an excellent addition to the biography section of the library as their format would appeal to younger readers while still providing essential information of the great lives portrayed.

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