Charlotte The Scientist Is Squished, by Camille Andros, illustrated by Brianne Farley, is a cute bunny story with adorable illustrations appropriate for very young kids. But Charlotte The Scientist Is Squished is also way more than that. Charlotte uses the scientific method in trying to solve problems, which provides a fun way to introduce the steps of the scientific method to elementary school students. Charlotte is also a strong, powerful girl who will remind kids of any age that girls can be scientists, mathematicians, or engineers…and that girls are problem-solvers in whatever careers they choose.
Charlotte The Scientist Is Squished makes an excellent writing prompt for the classroom. After you read Charlotte out loud to your students, here are a few suggestions to get kids writing:
1) Scientists try to find the answers to important questions. If you were a scientist, what questions would YOU want to answer?
2) Do you ever feel squished at home, at school, on the bus, or in other parts of your life? Write about when you feel squished. Or, if you never feel squished in real life, imagine when you might feel squished….when you and all your friends try to cram into a closet when you are playing hide and seek? When you and your eight dogs (remember…you are imagining this, so you can have as many dogs as you want!) try to fit in one sleeping bag on a camping trip?
3) Do you have anyplace in your life where you have your own space? Describe it. Or, design the perfect place where you could have your own space. Would it be a private island? A treehouse? A boat?
4) Camille and Brianne are working on a sequel to Charlotte The Scientist is Squished. If you were writing the next book about Charlotte, what would happen? What discoveries might Charlotte make? What problems might she try to solve?
5) What if you were illustrating the next Charlotte book…what changes would you make in the sequel? Would you give Charlotte a new lab coat? Different safety goggles? Cool earrings? Rubber boots? How would you make your pictures of Charlotte stand out?