discovering life's story

Discovering Life’s Story: Using Storytelling to Engage Teens

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Do your teenagers complain about science? Are you looking for new ways to get them to engage with their science lessons? Then you need to use storytelling as part of your science studies with the Discovering Life’s Story series!

engaging teens with science

Disclosure: I received Discovering Life’s Story for free and was compensated for my time in creating this review. All opinions are mine.

Challenge: Getting Teens to Engage with Science

I don’t know about you, but sometimes getting my teenagers to engage with science is hard. They either love it or hate it! 

The kids tell me the textbooks are boring, filled with facts but don’t have any spark that brings the information to life.

Experiments are great and I try to make sure we complete an experiment or demonstration each week. But that doesn’t cut it. 

The experiments don’t give the kids all the information they need. And they’ve informed me that one fun experiment doesn’t equate to hours of boredom reading dull textbooks.

We have used engaging children’s books. This works great for my elementary and middle school kids. But let’s be honest. Children’s books don’t have all the information high school students need in their courses.

Solution: Use Storytelling to Teach Science

Thankfully, there’s now an easy solution to the eternal problem of dull textbooks! Use storytelling to get kids to engage with their studies.

But teenagers don’t want to read stories of animals talking to each other to learn science or a cutesy book about atoms having a conversation. They’re beyond that point in their studies.

So Joy Hakim, the author of The Story of US, has written a delightful new series titled Discovering Life’s Story. The series combines history and science allowing kids to meet the people behind the discoveries and to understand how science develops alongside historical events.

I’ve found this is the best way to bring science to life for my teenagers: allow them to meet the scientists behind the curtain.

Biology's Beginnings

Discovering Life’s Story by Joy Hakim

The Discovering Life’s Story by Joy Hakim currently has two books: Discovering Life’s Story: Biology’s Beginnings and Discovering Life’s Story: The Evolution of an Idea

Discovering Life’s Story: Biology’s Beginnings

Discovering Life’s Story: Biology’s Beginnings lays the foundation for the series and begins in the eighth century with the Caliph al-Mansur. 

The book continues to follow the thread of biology through the Plague, the University of Paris, and Johann Guenther to Galileo sending Federico Cesi a gift… a device called an occhialino that magnifies objects about 30 times! 

Discovering Life’s Story: Biology’s Beginnings ends with the discovery of a tiny particle by the biologist Dmitri Ivanovsky.

Discovering Life’s Story: The Evolution of an Idea

Discovering Life’s Story: the Evolution of an Idea jumps back in time to the Age of Enlightenment and a Frenchman, Denis Diderot. This time the tale follows the thread of a startling new theory that life forms change over time, or the theory of evolution.

It’s another engaging book by Joy Hakim that combines history and science into a delightful story.

The Evolution of an Idea

About Joy Hakim

My family was first introduced to Joy Hakim through her series The History of US which walks children through American history over ten volumes. Her writing style focuses on turning events into an engaging story that kids love to read. The result is far more entertaining to read than textbooks.

Joy Hakim is a teacher, journalist, and editor. She lives in Maryland. And she’s dedicated to finding the stories in science and history.

How to Use Discovering Life’s Story in Your Home

Discovering Life’s Story is a great way to supplement your high school students’ biology curriculum! The books bring the information kids are reading to life.

My suggestion is to read the books as part of an evening read-aloud or your normal morning time studies. You can use the books as reference material for research papers or use the books to spark lively dinnertime discussions around the table.

The storytelling in the books is designed to delight people of any age with curious minds, which means that you can read the books aloud to your whole family. Everyone will enjoy them! 

More Information About Joy Hakim’s Discovering Life’s Story

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