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Reading over and under the waves: A study of ocean picture books for children
journal contributionposted on 2021-11-17, 00:00 authored by Prue FrancisPrue Francis, Paul VenzoPaul Venzo, Alecia BellgroveAlecia Bellgrove
AbstractMarine science picture books have the capacity to shape what young people know and how they think about ocean environments and marine biodiversity. Despite academic scholarship on marine science literacy broadly, relatively little has been done to study the role of picture books in teaching children about this topic. This paper is an attempt to fill that gap, by analysing 100 ocean-themed books against common marine science concepts and the Australian Science Understanding Curriculum streams. A majority of the 100 books analysed were found to link with marine science and the Australian Science Understanding Curriculum (81% and 91%, respectively) where biological concepts were dominant in both cases. Chemical and physical sciences were underrepresented in the 100 books analysed. The study provides examples of books that can be used for teaching marine education in primary schools in Australia and suggest further inquiry into marine science literature for children.