Marie Neurath: Science education resources for primary schools developed with University of Reading

We were invited by Sue Walker and her team at the University of Reading’s Department of Typography & Graphic Communication to help design slideshows and worksheets for primary school children, teachers and parents.

The resources were created using the wonderful illustrations in books written and designed by Marie Neurath in the 1950s and 1960s, held at the University of Reading.

They are grouped in ‘packs’ under themes that relate broadly to the national curriculum. Each pack contains a slideshow (.pdf to download to a computer, and .epub for tablets); and a related worksheet that users can download and print out.

Download resources here

Original books by Marie Neurath

Marie Neurath lead a team of researchers, artists and writers at the Isotype Institute to produce over 80 illustrated children’s books between the 1940s and 1970s, aimed at making scientific subjects more accessible to children.

Research and co-design

The resources were developed with ongoing input and testing phases from teachers and children.

According to the Institute of Education, reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education. 

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 resources

For young children (Key Stage 1: Reception – year 2) four packs explore the themes of growth, habitats, earth and plants.

For older children  (Key Stage : year 3 – year 4), four slideshows introduce notions of gravity, force, energy and density..

‘… I spent even happier minutes elbowing small children aside at the activity table where I was tasked with numbering in the right order the pictures showing what happens in a bird’s egg, based on four frames from a children’s book that shows Marie at her best – explaining complex concepts in easily understood ways.’

Stuart Jeffries review at our Marie Neurath: Picturing Science exhibition in The Guardian, August 2019

Typeface

The text is set in Fabula, a typeface designed for use in resources for children under Sue Walker’s direction by a team of staff and students at Reading.

More about Fabula

Pop up photos

We added pop up photos sourced from Pixabay for the interactive resources, to help children connect the simplified illustrations with recognisable, real life examples