I use children’s books to start teaching myself about topics. I didn’t start doing that on purpose. I just noticed that often a children’s book would introduce me to an amazing story, one I wanted to know more about, or one I never learned about in school.
“As usual, everything I learn in life is from a children’s book. I finally understand the (basic) story of how Darwin made his discovery and what about him was so special. It seems to me it might not be that Darwin was so brilliant, but that he was persistent. (I’ve read two pictures books about Darwin and I’m ready to theorize about him.”
Clearly, I don’t know a ton. But there’s something great about getting across the basic story of a topic in a quick way, and in a way that gives you a solid frame to hang more information on.
I think one thing I’ve learned about teaching over the years– and I’ve learned it more from noticing how I learn– is that you can’t make it too simple. It has to be simple before it’s complicated. Having the simple to go back to gives you a power to reset yourself if you get confused.
Book 1: Darwin: With Glimpses into his Private Journals and Letters
Book 2: One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin (Candlewick Biographies)