STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Come See the Earth Turn

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Come See the Earth Turn

By Lori Mortensen

Illustrated by Raul Allen

Tricycle Press, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58246-284-4

Nonfiction picture book

Ages 8-12

Come See the Earth Turn tells the story of Leon Foucault and the way he proved that the Earth turned using a pendulum to show the movement. Lacking formal training, Foucault, a poor student, found his place in developing “clever instruments and magnificent contraptions.”

He wondered about questions relating to light, its speed, and how to prove these sorts of things. And while people had begun to think the Earth turned, no one had proved it—until Foucault did.

Even though he’d received honors for his work, he wasn’t formally trained and it wasn’t until three years before his death that he was granted membership into the French Academy of Science.

The book contains an author’s note, glossary with pictures of the instruments, and bibliography.  In this day of Common Core State Standards, this book begs to be included in classroom and library lessons.

It would make a wonderful introduction to a lesson on Earth science, gravity, and the Earth’s motion. The invention could be compared with that of another early scientist and used as a way to show the scientific method.

Determine the main idea and find examples of how the story supports it. Look up the tools listed in the vocabulary to find more about how they worked to support academic and domain-specific word acquisition.

Compare the book with a scientific explanation of the Earth’s motion and discuss they different ways the authors used to explain this principle.

With the Next Generation Science Standards now available, the book fits perfectly with the Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions and Earth’s Place in the Universe strand. It would kick off a fun lesson to begin a study of these topics in the relevant grades.

Nonfiction is a terrific way to liven up lessons and provides a fun introduction to many topics. It gives teachers, parents, and librarians the opportunity to show children the pleasure and fun of nonfiction.

This site has a good biography of Foucault.

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Author: Shirley Duke

Bio for Shirley Duke I am a children's writer, science content editor, and presenter. I taught science and ESL in elementary, middle school, and high school for twenty-five years and then began to write for children. I've written 34 books for the trade and educational market and 8 books for an individual. I've written freelance for publishers, book packagers, and individuals. This work includes books, magazines, Booklinks, tests, teacher guides, flashcards, workbooks, ghostwriting, my college alumni bulletin, and blogs. I began writing about fourteen years ago. My first book, No Bows!, was published in 2006. I have most recently been writing science books for the school and library markets. I also have done science content editing for Blue Door Publishing and Red Line Editorial. With Anastasia Suen, I wrote a book on STEM and the Commmon Core for ABC-Clio. It contains 44 lessons for librarians to incorporate more STEM subjects into their lessons while covering the Common Core standards. I also correlated the Next Generation Science Standards and Common core for Kingfisher's Basher series. Look for the Growing STEM column in LibrarySparks that Anastasia Suen and I write. I've spoken at schools, ALA, TLA, TSRA, ALA, NAEYC, universities, libraries, and book fairs and festivals. Visit my website at www.shirleysmithduke.com to see more about me. I also do a few library and school visits.

2 thoughts on “Come See the Earth Turn

  1. I always loved to go to our planetarium when I was a kid and watch the huge pendulum knock down dominoes tiles as the earth turned. Over at Archimedes Notebook we’re looking at insects through binoculars – and, yes, there ARE field guides available.
    http://archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com/2013/06/watching-things-that-fly-through.html

  2. Shirley,

    Welcome back!

    I’m dreaming of a visit to the ocean, but until I can get away I’m reading two books about oceans by Seymour Simon http://blog.wrappedinfoil.com/2013/06/two-seymour-simon-ocean-books/