STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


This is the Earth

thisistheearth

This is the Earth
by Diane Z. Shore (Author), Jessica Alexander (Author) and Wendell Minor (Illustrator)

Booktalk: The BIG Picture

Explore hundreds of years of changing landscapes and the positive and negative impacts humans have had on the environment. Just in time for Earth Day, this book shows young readers that even the smallest actions can help save the world.

#kidlit Writing Lesson: the small details

After showing the many negative environmental changes made by humans over hundreds of years, the book reaches a crisis moment for our Earth:

This is the Earth, polluted by greed,
as we take what we want, which is more than we need,
where bulldozing trucks clear the rainforest floor
and sands wash away from the vanishing shore,

The first two lines of this stanza state the problem in a couplet (two lines that rhyme):

This is the Earth, polluted by greed,
as we take what we want, which is more than we need,

The next couplet in the stanza shows new ways that humans are changing the environment:

where bulldozing trucks clear the rainforest floor
and sands wash away from the vanishing shore,

Thankfully, two pages later the solution to this problem shows specific actions that even a small child can do. Here is the first one:

These are the bins
where the bottles and cans
and the papers await
the recycling vans.

Happy Earth Day!

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


The SLOWEST Book Ever!

slowest book everThe SLOWEST Book EVER

by April Pulley Sayre; illus. by Kelly Murphy

176 pages; ages 8-12

Boyds Mills Press, 2016

“Warning!” says the front page, “This is a S-L-O-W book. Do not read it while surfing, water-skiing,  or running to escape giant weasels.” It’s a book so slow that the table of contents lists: two pages “on which to rest your face”… and notes the “excruciatingly slow acknowledgments” at the end. And just to make it longer – and slower – there’s a not-exactly-the-end-notes section with even more stuff to think slowly about.

So what kind of stuff goes into a SLOW book? The sorts of things you’d expect: details about metamorphosis (a slow process), turtles, slow food (yes, that’s a thing), and true “snail mail” – in which messages were transmitted by actual snails.

There are slow activities: watching paint dry, creating slow-motion stories, growing bonsai trees, tai chi.

The structure of the book contributes to the philosophy of SLOW – it’s just the sort of book you don’t read straight through. Instead, you dip into a page or two and read. Then you sit back and drink tea and think a bit. Later, when you get around to it, you read some more.

This is just a plain fun approach to interesting facts about the world around us. Read slowly, you’re bound to learn a few, like how long it takes for a saguaro cactus to grow an inch*. Or the length of time it takes to turn a grape into a raisin**. Fortunately, there’s an index for the less patient of us.

* fifteen years

** three weeks

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.


Now You See Them, Now You Don’t

now you see themNow You See Them, Now You Don’t
by David L. Harrison; illus. by Giles Laroche
32 pages; ages 5-9
Charlesbridge, 2016

opening:

List of words
ghost crabs know:
danger, freeze,
blend, slow,
look, run,
stop, go.

This is not just a book about creatures that hide; it’s a book of poetry. And that makes it perfect for this month, because April is National Poetry Month.

Flip through the pages and you meet ghost crabs, mice, walking sticks, crab spiders, birds, and more. Some hide by blending in with their background, others find hiding places.

What I like about this book: the cut-paper illustrations that are intricately detailed. Suckers on the octopus’s tentacles, flower and leaf details on plants, scale texture on the snake… and the layers that can be achieved with papers. I also like the back matter: five pages of more info about the animals featured in the poems.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook for some hands-on book-related activities.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Site Meter Copyright © 2016 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.


For Earth Day, Celebrate and Teach About the Hard Work and Joy of Discovering a Species

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, explore STEM concepts with students through the lens of environmental science and conservation.

main_olinguito_cover_small
Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest, Lee & Low Books, 2016

 

¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado /Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest (nonfiction) Interest level: grades K–6

by Lulu Delacre

Continue reading