Lab Girl Reading Log

Lab Girl Reading Log


Use this reading log to guide you through your reading of the book. There are five Idea Strands that you should look for as you read. As you read each section, takes notes on the chapters within the sections in the middle column of the chart. In the right-hand column, provide examples of how each chapter relates to one or more of these Idea Strands.

Idea Strands

Strand 1: Plants as a Metaphor for Life 
Throughout the book, the author uses plant growth as a metaphor to describe her own experiences. Take notes on examples of this literary technique, and comment on its effect on you as the reader. 

Strand 2: Plant, Soil, and Seed Science
Throughout the book, Lab Girl threads together in-depth information about plant science and the author's discoveries. Note information that you learned about plants, soil, and seeds. 

Strand 3: Family, Friendship, and Scandinavian Culture
The author discusses her upbringing in a Scandinavian family and how that culture influenced her relationships with her family members. She describes the nature of her family relationship, as well as several important relationships throughout her life. How did her culture influence how she relates with others? How did she describe her role as a friend and her friendship with Bill? How did her culture affect how she approached being a wife and mother?

Strand 4: Emotional Struggles and Mental Illness
The author writes at length about the emotional highs and lows throughout her professional and personal life, and her diagnosis of manic depression. As you read, take notes on her experiences. Were you familiar with manic depression before reading this book, or were you learning about it for the first time? How did reading the book affect your ideas about mental illness?

Strand 5: Women in Science
This book underscores the challenges of being a woman in a largely male-dominated profession. Throughout your reading, note the moments where the author describes her unique experience as a woman scientist. 

There are several chapters within each section. Takes notes on the chapters in the Chapter Notes and notes on the different strands in Strand Notes column. When you finish reading the book and have completed this log, you will work on one of the projects described on the Lab Girl Project Instructions student sheet.

Name of Section

Chapter Notes

Strand Notes

Roots and Leaves











Wood and Knots












Flower and Fruit













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