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Tinkering
with Tales

Using Children’s Classic Fairy Tales to Engage in STEM by Angela Stanford, Julie Quast, and Lisa Oden is an exemplary book for teaching science to elementary students.
  • cover
  • author A book by Angela Stanford, Julie Quast, and Lisa Oden
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What Will You Get From This Book?

Lessons that inspire young scientists to find themselves absorbed in science and discovery based on classic fairy tales.

Classic Fairy Tales

Easily accessible literacy, no searching for a book that no one at school owns

Accessible Materials

Experiments use inexpensive common household items

Science Background Content

Background information and vocabulary to help prepare teachers for questions.

Tinkering with Tales Chapters

  • cover
  • author A book by
    Angela Stanford, Lisa Oden, and Julie Quast
  1. The Three Little Pigs
  2. Three Billy Goats Gruff
  3. Rapunzel
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  5. Chicken Little
  6. Jack and the Beanstalk
  7. Sleeping Beauty
  8. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  9. Cinderella
  10. The Gingerbread Man
  11. Princess and the Pea
  12. Pied Piper

Who This Book Is For

Tinkering with Tales connects engaging STEM lessons with classic fairy tales. Each chapter refers to an easily accessible story and provides a structured 5E STEM lesson aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Teachers

Guides educators through STEM-oriented lessons with valuable background notes, teaching suggestions, and lesson outlines based on the 5E model (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate)

Parents

The supplies and materials required for the investigations are readily available, little or no cost, recyclable materials.

Elementary Age Children

Book is designed to get young learners engaged in doing science with fun lesssons.

Book Reviews

See what our readers are saying.
"Tinkering with Tales: Using Children’s Literature to Engage in STEM provides a blueprint for science lessons based on stories familiar to children across the globe.

The easy to follow guidance in Tinkering with Tales will allow you to help students actively engage with the storyline of tales they have known as toddlers as well as understand the scientific principles hidden in plain sight within the drama of these characters. Finding ways to help students discover science in their everyday surroundings is one of the most promising ways to inspire curiosity, love of learning, and respect for their environment and fellow humans.

Tinkering with Tales: Using Children's Literature to Engage in STEM will make science principles come alive with a minimum effort on your part."
Robin M. Smith
Author of "Conquering the Content: A Blueprint for Online Course Design and Development"
"As a science educator I am always looking for quality resources that urge educators to view science as a verb—encouraging kids to do things in order to investigate and support science concepts. Tinkering with Tales: Using Children’s Literature to Engage in STEM by Angela Stanford, Lisa Oden, and Julie Quast is an exemplary book for teaching elementary science that does just that. Their lessons inspire both reluctant scientists and struggling readers to find themselves absorbed in science discovery lessons based on classic fairy tales.

I am excited about this book for several reasons. First, the authors not only base each lesson on Next Generation Science standards, they also combine cross curricular connections with math, ELA, and other disciplines in a natural way. Second, Tinkering with Tales guides educators through STEM-oriented lessons with valuable background notes, teaching suggestions, and lesson outlines based on the 5E model (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate). And finally, the supplies and materials required for the investigations are readily available, little or no cost, recyclable materials. It is easy to tell this book is written by teachers for teachers.

I would require this book for my pre-service elementary education majors and recommend it for teachers, parents, and any adults who work with elementary age children in enrichment programs of all kinds. The authors do an incredible job of organizing each lesson; now the rest of us get to have fun engaging learners in doing science."
Debbie Silver Ed.D
teacher, author, and consultant

About The Authors


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Angela Stanford

Angela Stanford, Ed.D, NBCT, has spent 30 years teaching students in K-12 schools through higher education. She taught elementary and middle school science and mathematics in the early years and then specialized her focus while a science specialist for a STEM school. She has provided consultant work for school districts as well as professional development training for regional education centers. Angela co-authored many peer-reviewed articles, including, “Dissecting Intellectual Dialogue” and “Renovating our Science Learning Centers” for the National Science Teachers Association’s Science & Children Journal, and “Retooling Rubrics” for the Association for Middle Level Education’s AMLE Journal.

Angela received her Elementary Education and Masters of Education from Southern Arkansas University. She received her Education Specialist and Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence Science. Angela is currently an Associate Professor of Education and the Director of Middle School and STEM Education Programs at Southern Arkansas University. Angela resides with her husband, Danny, in Magnolia, Arkansas.

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Julie Quast

Julie Quast, Ed.D., NBCT, is an Assistant Professor at Henderson State University with almost 20 years experience in education. Her various roles in education include teaching kindergarten, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, serving as a K-6 Literacy Coach, assistant principal, and curriculum coordinator. Julie is certified in English as a Second Language K-12, as a Reading Specialist K-8, and Building Level Leader K-8. She enjoys presenting at local, state, and national conferences and has published in several peer-reviewed journals.

Julie earned a doctorate in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University and National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist. She is focused on teaching the whole child, ensuring an inclusive learning environment for all students, and using technology to engage students in quality learning experiences. Julie lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with her husband and three children.

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Lisa Oden

Lisa Oden, Ed.D, is an Associate Professor at Southern Arkansas University with more than 30 years of experience teaching at the elementary and college levels, with a specialty in preparing educators in literacy and pedagogical methods. She has authored peer-reviewed work in teacher effectiveness and presented both nationally and internationally on the topic of non-traditional college student retention, including at the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Oden has also received numerous grants throughout her education career, with an emphasis in developing in-service teacher capacity in effective uses of instructional technology. She has received teaching excellence awards at both the elementary and two-year college levels for her service to her students.

Lisa earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has a Master's Degree and Bachelor's degree from Southern Arkansas University. Oden is passionate about literacy and the science of teaching and lives with her husband and fellow educator, Greg, in El Dorado, Arkansas.