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I, Galileo

Last updated Monday, November 2, 2015

Author: Bonnie Christensen
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0375867538
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2015

Synopsis: Galileo's contributions were so numerous—the telescope! the microscope!—and his ideas so world-changing—the sun-centric solar system!—that Albert Einstein called him "the father of modern science." But in his own time he was branded a heretic and imprisoned in his home. He was a man who insisted on his right to pursue the truth, no matter what the cost—making his life as interesting and instructive as his ideas.

Acclaimed author-illustrator Bonnie Christensen adopts the voice of Galileo and lets him tell his own tale in this outstanding picture book biography. The first person narration gives this book a friendly, personal feel that makes Galileo's remarkable achievements and ideas completely accessible to young readers. And Christensen's artwork glows with the light of the stars he studied.

Note to readers:
•  Spend a few minutes studying and discussing the maps of Italy inside the front & back cover.
•  Talk about the purpose of a preface and an afterward. Also, talk about chronology, etc. at the end of the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever used a telescope - when/where?
•  What do you know about the universe and the seen and planet?
•  If you were a scientist, what would you like to invent?


•  Refer to the Glossary in the back of the book.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Which of Galileo's inventions/discoveries do you think was the most important? Why?
•  Do you think Galileo had a good life? What challenges did he encounter?
•  Do you agree that Galileo was the "Father of Science"?
•  What did Galileo discover? Describe some of this experiments. (heavy vs light objects falling, compass, telescope)
•  What did he discover about the moon? How?
•  What truth did he discover about the universe? What was the popular belief at that time?
•  Why was Galileo silent for 7 years? What did he do?
•  Why & how was he punished?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a model of a telescope using paper towel rolls or rolled up paper.
•  Make a colorful map of our solar system. Cut different colored paper in circles for the planets & paste on a dark blue or black background.
•  Check out our Pinterest for craft suggestions!

Special activities:
•  Play a game where one of the volunteer readers make a statement about the story, for example "Galileo was from Spain". Students respond with thumbs up if true or thumbs down if false.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!