Zombies and Forces and Motion by Mark Weakland

Zombies and Forces and MotionSir Isaac Newton gave us 3 of the most important laws of physics which have shaped our understanding of how our world works. Author Mark Weakland and illustrator Gervasio have now given a whole new generation of students an accessible way to understand Newton’s concepts using zombies. Yes, I said: “zombies.” We’ve all heard the apple falling on Newton’s head story and many of us can easily recall the phrase, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” but recall does not equal comprehension. Put together a graphic novel with zombies illustrating the principals of gravity, force, and motion, however, and the preverbal light bulbs will be clicking on above even your most struggling students’ heads.

Scientific concepts often benefit from the accompaniment of visual examples, and graphic novels provide wonderful vehicles by which to accomplish this union. Zombies and Forces and Motion uses humorous illustrations and popular culture to make Newtons’ laws accessible and relatable to students. In addition, one of the goals of the new Common Core State Standards is to build visual literacy skills. By the time students are in junior high, the CCSS require the inclusion of graphic novels in the range of text types, so not only does this book align with the standards for informational texts, but it also provides a great opportunity to begin developing the scaffolding for future visual literacy skills.

Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7 Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.

Posted by: Staci

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