Experience Biology Elementary: Reading List

 

Below is a list of books recommended for students in the Experience Biology: Elementary program. It is not necessary to read every book in this list, and parents should choose books most fitting to how they’re using the course at home. Some are for younger readers, others for older readers, and most would make excellent read-alouds.

Before making any purchases, we recommend seeing if any of these books are available at your local library or through interlibrary loan.

Please note:

  • There are some books in the list that refer to evolution, however we do our best to make notes of specific pages you may want to avoid on the weekly supplemental guides for each lesson.
  • Many books are repeated through several lessons
  • Consult the supplemental guides for each lesson (or the Student Adventure Guide) to know the relevant pages in each book.

Books Listed in Lesson Order

Lesson 1

What’s Smaller than a Pygmy Shrew?, by Robert Wells

The Biosphere, by Gregory L. Vogt

Genesis 1:1-2:3

Lesson 2

The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom, by Amber Keyser

Enjoy Your Cells, by Fran Balkwill and Mic Rolph

The Cell Works, by Patrick A. Baeuerle and Norbert Landa

Lesson 3

The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom, by Amber Keyser

The Cell Works, by Patrick A. Baeuerle and Norbert Landa

Francis Crick & James Watson: Pioneers in DNA Research, by John Bankston

Understanding DNA: A Breakthrough in Medicine, by Tony Allan

Lesson 4

The Cell Works, by Patrick A. Baeuerle and Norbert Landa

Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, by Agnieszka Biskup

Lesson 5

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!, by Anita Sanchez

The Biosphere, by Gregory L. Vogt

Lesson 6

Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, by Agnieszka Biskup

The Biosphere, by Gregory L. Vogt

One Small Square: Woods, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Cactus Desert, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Rain Forest, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Savannah, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Arctic Tundra, by Donald Silver

Lesson 7

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes, by Nicola Davies

Archaea: Salt-Lovers, Methane-Makers, Thermophiles, and Other Archaeans, by David M. Barker

Bacteria: Staph, Strep, Clostridium, and Other Bacteria, by Judy Wearing

The Bacteria Book: The Big World of Really Tiny Microbes, by Steve Mould

Lesson 8

The Bacteria Book: The Big World of Really Tiny Microbes, by Steve Mould

Lesson 9

The Bacteria Book: The Big World of Really Tiny Microbes, by Steve Mould

Fungus is Among Us!, by Joy Keller

The Mushroom Fan Club, by Elise Gravel

Fungi: Mushrooms, Toadstools, Molds, Yeasts, and Other Fungi, by Judy Waring

Lesson 10

Plant Parts, by Richard and Louise Spilsbury

Eli Whitney and the Industrial Revolution, by Heather Moore Niver

The Tree Book: For Kids and their Grown Ups, by Gina Ingoglia

Lesson 11

Plants: Flower Plants, Ferns, Mosses, and Other Plants, by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone (Note: the intro to chapters 4 and 5 refer to the earth being over 100 million years old)

The Tree Book: For Kids and their Grown Ups,
by Gina Ingoglia

Lesson 12

Plant Parts, by Richard and Louise Spilsbury

Botany: Plants, Cells, and Photosynthesis, by April Chloe Terrazas

The Tree Book: For Kids and their Grown Ups, by Gina Ingoglia

Lesson 13

Plant Parts, by Richard and Louise Spilsbury

Tops and Bottoms, by Janet Stevens

The Tree Book: For Kids and their Grown Ups, by Gina Ingoglia

Lesson 14

Plant Parts, by Richard and Louise Spilsbury

Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate, by Sara Levine

Lesson 15

Seeds and More Seeds, by Millicent E. Selsam

The Tree Book: For Kids and their Grown Ups, by Gina Ingoglia

A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver, by Aliki (lower elementary)

Who Was George Washington Carver? by Jim Gigliotti (upper elementary)       

Lesson 16

Carnivores, Herbivores, Omnivores, by Nicola Tyrrell

Animal Classifications: Invertebrates, by Angela Royston

Bubble Homes and Fish Farts, by Fiona Bayrock

Lesson 17

Sponges: Spectacular Sea Creatures, by Laura Sue Perricone

Sponges are Skeletons, by Barbara Juster Esbensen

Manfish: A story of Jacques Cousteau, by Jennifer Berne

Lesson 18

Wiggling Worms at Work, by Wendy Pfeffer

The Lifecycle of an Earthworm, by Bobbie Kalman 

Yucky Worms, by Vivian French

Lesson 19

Jellyfish (A Day in the Life: Sea Animals), by Louise Spilsbury

Life in a Coral Reef, by Wendy Pfeffer

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau, by Jennifer Berne

Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars, by Christine Kump Tibbitts

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

Lesson 20

Starfish, by Edith Thacher Hurd

Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish, by Janet Halfmann

Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars, by Christine Kump Tibbitts

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

Lesson 21

Next Time You See a Seashell, by Emily Morgan

Giant Squid: Mystery of the Deep, by Jennifer Dussling

Gentle Giant Octopus, by Karen Wallace

Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars, by Christine Kump Tibbitts

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

Lesson 22

High Tides for Horseshoe Crabs, by Lisa Kahn Schnell

Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars, by Christine Kump Tibbitt

Lesson 23

Animal Scavengers: Army Ants, by Sandra Markle

Chirping Crickets, by Melvin Berger

Summer Birds, by Margarita Engle

Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects, by Matthew Clark Smith

Spiders: All About Their Web-Building Skills, Bodies, Diets, and More! by Seymour Simon

Scorpion Man: Exploring the World of Scorpions, by Laurence Pringle

Lesson 24

Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons, by Sara Levine

What is a Vertebrate? by Bobbie Kalman

Lesson 25

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

Animal Classifications: Fish, by Angela Royston

The Best Book of Sharks, by Claire Llewellyn

Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea, by Chris Butterworth  

Lesson 26 

Big Night for Salamanders, by Sarah Marwil Lamstein

From Tadpole to Frog, by Wendy Pfeffer

Animal Classifications: Amphibians, by Angela Royston

Lesson 27

One Tiny Turtle, by Nicola Davies 

Snakes are Hunters, by Patricia Lauber

Turtles in My Sandbox, by Jennifer Keates Curtis

Python, by Christopher Cheng and Mark Jackson

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

Lesson 28

How do Birds Find Their Way?, by Roma Gans

Feathers: Not Just for Flying, by Melissa Stewart

Take Along Guide: Birds, Nests, and Eggs, by Mel Boring

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of James Audubon, by Jaqueline Davies

Lesson 29

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

The Story of Jane Goodall, by Susan Katz

The World of Mammals, by Memoria Press

Lesson 30

Animals Born Alive and Well, by Ruth Heller

A Mammal is an Animal, by Lizzy Rockwell

 

Books Listed in Alphabetical Order

Animal Classifications: Amphibians, by Angela Royston

Animal Classifications: Fish, by Angela Royston

Animal Classifications: Invertebrates, by Angela Royston

Animal Scavengers: Army Ants, by Sandra Markle

Animals Born Alive and Well, by Ruth Heller

Archaea: Salt-Lovers, Methane-Makers, Thermophiles, and Other Archaeans, by David M. Barker

The Bacteria Book: The Big World of Really Tiny Microbes, by Steve Mould

Bacteria: Staph, Strep, Clostridium, and Other Bacteria, by Judy Wearing

The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom, by Amber Keyser

The Best Book of Sharks, by Claire Llewellyn

Big Night for Salamanders, by Sarah Marwil Lamstein

The Biosphere, by Gregory L. Vogt

Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons, by Sara Levine

Botany: Plants, Cells, and Photosynthesis, by April Chloe Terrazas

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of James Audubon, by Jaqueline Davies

Bubble Homes and Fish Farts, by Fiona Bayrock

Carnivores, Herbivores, Omnivores, by Nicola Tyrrell

The Cell Works, by Patrick A. Baeuerle and Norbert Landa

Chirping Crickets, by Melvin Berger

Eli Whitney and the Industrial Revolution, by Heather Moore Niver

Enjoy Your Cells, by Fran Balkwill and Mic Rolph

Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, by Agnieszka Biskup

Feathers: Not Just for Flying, by Melissa Stewart

Francis Crick & James Watson: Pioneers in DNA Research, by John Bankston

From Tadpole to Frog, by Wendy Pfeffer

Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate, by Sara Levine

Fungi: Mushrooms, Toadstools, Molds, Yeasts, and Other Fungi, by Judy Waring

Fungus is Among Us!, by Joy Keller

Genesis 1:1-2:3

Gentle Giant Octopus, by Karen Wallace

Giant Squid: Mystery of the Deep, by Jennifer Dussling

High Tides for Horseshoe Crabs, by Lisa Kahn Schnell

How do Birds Find Their Way?, by Roma Gans

Jellyfish (A Day in the Life: Sea Animals), by Louise Spilsbury

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!, by Anita Sanchez

Life in a Coral Reef, by Wendy Pfeffer

The Lifecycle of an Earthworm, by Bobbie Kalman 

Marvels of Creation: Sensational Sea Creatures, by Buddy and Kay Davis

A Mammal is an Animal, by Lizzy Rockwell

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau, by Jennifer Berne

The Mushroom Fan Club, by Elise Gravel

Next Time You See a Seashell, by Emily Morgan

One Small Square: Arctic Tundra, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Cactus Desert, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Rain Forest, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Savannah, by Donald Silver

One Small Square: Woods, by Donald Silver

One Tiny Turtle, by Nicola Davies 

Plant Parts, by Richard and Louise Spilsbury

Plants: Flower Plants, Ferns, Mosses, and Other Plants, by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone (Note: the intro to chapters 4 and 5 refer to the earth being over 100 million years old)

Python, by Christopher Cheng and Mark Jackson

Scorpion Man: Exploring the World of Scorpions, by Laurence Pringle

Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea, by Chris Butterworth   

Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars, by Christine Kump Tibbitts

Seeds and More Seeds, by Millicent E. Selsam

Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects, by Matthew Clark Smith

Snakes are Hunters, by Patricia Lauber

Spiders: All About Their Web-Building Skills, Bodies, Diets, and More! by Seymour Simon

Sponges are Skeletons, by Barbara Juster Esbensen

Sponges: Spectacular Sea Creatures, by Laura Sue Perricone

Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish, by Janet Halfmann

Starfish, by Edith Thacher Hurd

The Story of Jane Goodall, by Susan Katz

Summer Birds, by Margarita Engle

Take Along Guide: Birds, Nests, and Eggs, by Mel Boring

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes, by Nicola Davies

Tops and Bottoms, by Janet Stevens

The Tree Book: For Kids and their Grown Ups, by Gina Ingoglia

Turtles in My Sandbox, by Jennifer Keates Curtis

Understanding DNA: A Breakthrough in Medicine, by Tony Allan

A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver, by Aliki (lower elementary)

What is a Vertebrate? by Bobbie Kalman

What’s Smaller than a Pygmy Shrew?, by Robert Wells

Who Was George Washington Carver? by Jim Gigliotti (upper elementary)    

Wiggling Worms at Work, by Wendy Pfeffer   

The World of Mammals, by Memoria Press

Yucky Worms, by Vivian French

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