Christensen, B. (2012). I, Galileo. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN: 9780375867538
Annotation: Galileo was a radical scientist and mathematician whose most memorable work proved the Copernican theory of a sun centered universe, though he also invented the compass and microscope and experimented with pendulums.
Reaction: I enjoyed this first person biography of Galileo. He was such a forward, progressive thinker, and it’s really too bad that the Church wasn’t ready for his discoveries. Christensen does a good job of showing his need to always be learning new things; even when the Church forbade him from talking about the Copernican theory, he kept right on examining the world around him and learning things no one ever had before.
The art is really nice, and I like the thick black lines Christensen uses to outline, which gives the reader the feeling of looking at stained glass windows. She uses lots of vivid colors that only add to the illusion of stained glass. I also really loved her depictions of Galileo’s various experiments, particularly the one with his father, testing lute strings with various lengths and tensions.
Media Used: Gouache resist with oil paints.
Grade Level: 5th-6th
Summary of Lesson: Students will recreate some of Galileo’s experiments
Focus Question: How do you design and conduct scientific experiments?
Books/websites used: I, Galileo
School science text
–>From I, Galileo, students choose one experiment to recreate in small groups
–>Conduct experiment and draw conclusions
–>Present findings to the class
–>Discuss, as a class, the findings and the process of conducting the experiment
–>Develop teamwork skills
–>Learn how to conduct an experiment
–>Experience the scientific process
–>Learn how to draw conclusions based on data collected during experiments
–>Develop public speaking skills through presentation of findings to class