Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beatty

Ada Twist did not talk until she was three and then her world was filled with how and why questions.  This book gives young children an introduction into what being a scientist is all about.


  • 1 index card per child with their name written on it.
  • 5-8 baggies with cotton balls inside. Before class, make smell bags by either putting  a liquid onto the cotton balls or adding a powder. I have used; shampoo, perfume, lemon juice, pickle juice, onion powder, oregano, thyme, baby powder.
  • 2 diet colas
  • 1 packet of mint Mentos
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Many colored shapes; triangle, circle, square, and rectangles of various sizes.
  • A tray or two of ice cubes


  •  Frazzled-Tired and weary
  • Chaos-A giant mess
  • Quivered-Shook
  • Dazed-Bewildered, to not know what to think
  • Traits-Behaviors
  • Stench-Gross smell
  • Research-to study or investigate something
  • Hypothesis-to make a guess about something
  • Fiction-Not real, fake

Before Reading the Story 

Ask the children if they know what a scientist does. (He/she is an inventor or a researcher. Talk about how scientists invent things to make life easier. Name some inventions that the children use in your classroom. Someone had to invent the scissors that you use to cut paper. Someone had to invent the cups we use at lunch to drink out of. And a scientist researched and figured out how to make the cold/warm air blow from the vents in our classroom. Scientists make the world a better place for everyone. Tell the children that there are two questions every scientist asks, can they guess what they are? How? and why? Have the children repeat the words how? and why? Introduce the story.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.

Reading the Story 

On the page where Ada’s parents yell “STOP!” Ask the children if they can guess why her parents said no. As you finish the book, ask the children to come up with something that they think has a gross and stinky stench. List their answers on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.  

After Reading the Story 

Ask the children if they can remember two questions that every scientist asks (how? And why?). Ask the children if they recall what Ada was investigating (what made the stinky stench). Ask the children if they have any why questions or how questions. Write them down and over the next few days, encourage the children to help think of the answers or show the children how to look up answers with a resource book or the computer. With young children you do not need the scientifically correct answer as much as showing them how to find an answer. (Why does my brother always get more candy than me?  How come my cat meows to wake me up?)  Let other children respond to the questions and answer them according to their personal experiences.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in abilities to initiate and respond appropriately in conversations and discussions with peers and adults.  AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on past experiences.


Tell the children that today you are going to investigate stinky smell. Put the smell baggies into the science center today for the children to experience. Can they guess any of the smells? Are there any that they like or dislike?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on past experiences.

Music and Movement

 Sing Rhyming Words Sound the Same sung to Loopdy Loo

Rhyming words sound the same (clap, clap)
Rhyming words sound the same.
Rhyming words sound the same (clap, clap)
Rhyming words sound the same.

(Now make a chanting sounding word such as house and see if the children can make a word that rhymes. For younger children I have added pictures of rhyming words to help them visualize the rhyme).

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words.

Play Teacher May We? Have the children stand in a large circle. Ask a child to show you a movement (jumping, flapping arms, etc.) Then help all the children to say “Teacher may we”? The teacher then says “Only if _______can make a word that rhymes with ______ (frog, wig, and). The child makes the rhyme and everybody does the movement.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds of words.  AND Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.


 Put out any alphabet blocks or cubes you might have and encourage the children to find the letters in their name as they build today. If you do not have alphabet blocks, put sticky notes onto the blocks with letters written on them.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.


Put out the many shapes of triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles along with glue sticks. Give children a piece of paper and encourage them to make objects using the shapes. Add magic markers for embellishing.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take shapes apart.

Sand and Water

Fill the table with water today, then ask the children what they think will happen if you add ice cubes to the water? Let them hypothesis and then add the cubes and see if they were correct.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.

Library and Writing

Use the My Favorite Senses sheet. Fill one out for each child. Suggest that they illustrate one of their favorite senses.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictations, and in play.  AND Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.

 Dramatic Play

 Let the children invent their own play today. Observe where it goes and how the children respond to one another.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Math and Manipulatives

Put out a bowl of puff balls or other small manipulative. Encourage the children to take a handful and guesstimate how many puff balls they have in their hand. Then have the child count out the manipulatives in their hand. Ask the child, “did you have more, less, or the exact amount”?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, fewer, equal to.

Outdoor Play

In the book, Ada does a science investigation in her classroom by making a geyser. On the playground take the following ingredients and try it as a class. You will need several bottles of diet soda/coke and mint Mentos. Ask the children what they think will happen when the mint Mentos are put into the soda? Have the children stand back, open the soda and quickly put 5-7 Mentos into the bottle. You can continue experimenting with different sodas or the amount of Mentos added.

Have the children make a big volcano in the sand box. Put a small pail in the center and let the children take turns putting several tablespoon of baking soda in the pail. Next add a cup of white vinegar and see what happens.

Which was more impressive, the geyser or the volcano?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.


Point to one of the pages where the blocks spell out ADA’s name. Ask the children if they recognize any of the letters. Then take the index cards with the children’s names on them and hold them up one at a time. Can the children recognize their name in print? Can they name any of the letters in their name?

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Dear Parents- Today we read a book about a girl scientist who asked many how and why questions.  When your child asks you these questions, help them find the answer by looking on the computer or sharing your experience/knowledge.  


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About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.