While I’ve never worked in an elementary school before, I’m always on the lookout for awesome maker picture books. Picture books are a great way to introduce a lesson or activity in makerspaces. We even have a whole chart on maker picture book connections in Challenge Based Learning (check out the resources page to see the books mentioned). So when I was asked if I wanted to review Izzy Gizmo I happily jumped at the chance and it did not disappoint.
Note: I received a free copy of this book for review. Post contains affiliate links. Opinions are all my own.
Read this Book: Izzy Gizmo
Izzy is a young girl of color who loves to invent things. This book is already winning points for me here because representation is so important – all of our students should get to see themselves represented in books as smart, creative and kind. (See also Ada Twist, Scientist)
Izzy loves to make things, but she experiences a lot of frustration and temptation to quit when her inventions don’t work. Her grandfather gently prompts here to not give up and keep trying.
Eventually, Izzy stumbles upon an injured crow that the veterinarian can’t help. Determined to help the crow fly again, she goes through a series of inventions trying to create a new set of wings.
This lovely book is ripe with potential connections to maker lessons. You could easily tie it in with growth mindset versus fixed mindset. Izzy starts out getting frustrated and wanting to give up when things don’t work out. Her grandfather helps her to switch to growth mindset as she keeps trying over and over again.
Her empathy for the crow is a perfect tie-in for design thinking, which focuses on developing empathy for those you’re trying to help.
For a maker tie-in, you could challenge students to create their own contraption to help an injured animal. Or you could have a tech take-apart and look at ways you would reuse parts you salvage. There’s plenty of possibilities.
Check out Izzy Gizmo
This is a delightful picture book for young makers that is sure to inspire them. The connections to growth mindset and empathy make it an especially good addition for a maker picture book library.