Conceptual scaffolding is an extended passage that explains a complex idea or process by meeting readers where they are and then leading them down a path to understanding. In addition to providing pertinent background information, it may involve dispelling preexisting misconceptions.
When employing this technique, it can be really helpful to begin with a universal experience. From there, authors can provide readers with the building blocks they will need to slowly assemble a clear, logical explanation in their own minds.
Here are some recent books that make excellent use of conceptual scaffolding to explain very difficult scientific ideas in ways that young readers can really understand:
A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano
Island by Jason Chin
Zombie Makers by Rebecca L. Johnson
Can you think of others? I’m searching for more.