Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Every Monday, kidlit bloggers celebrate the fantastic non-fiction available for kids and teens.  I’m excited to be today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round Up!  Leave a link to your post about a non-fiction title in the comments, and I’ll update throughout the day.

My contribution for today is Serengeti Journey: On Safari in Africa, a National Geographic Science Chapters book. The book includes an introduction, chapters on elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs, a short summary chapter, and information on writing a report.

We’re using it as part of a unit study on African animals. My 7-year-old devoured each chapter this week and then told me fact after fact that she had learned. I loved seeing her so excited about reading non-fiction. Next week, we’ll do a writing project based on what she learned.

There are lots of titles in the National Geographic Science Chapters series, including Amazon Journey, Mysteries of the Sea, and All About Ants. We’ll definitely be using more of them in the future.

Post from around the kidlitosphere:

Read about an amaizng graphic novel about violence among children, Fist Stick Knife Gun at Pink Me.

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff has a review of Get to Know Wedges.

Hop over to Charlotte’s Library to read about DK’s Ask Me Everything.

Abby the Librarian tells us about The Buzz on Bees.

Learn about Creative Kitchen Crafts at A Patchwork of Books

Read a review and enter a giveaway for The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories, a mix of non-fiction and folktales.

Learn about Survival at 40 Below at Wild About Nature.

Wendie Old has a review of The Little Kids First Big Book of Animals.

Get Face to Face with Wolves at Book Dads.

Learn more about Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie at Rasco from RIF.

Jupiter joins Non-Fiction Monday for the first time with Recycle This Book.

Read about Time is When at The Cat in the Hat blog.

Roberta from Wrapped in Foil shares Beautiful Oops.

Shirley Duke at Simply Science shares her own Infections, Infestations, and Diseases.

Rock out with  Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow at Bookends.

Anastasia Suen shares The Shocking Truth About Energy.

Read about Benno and the Night of Broken Glass at Maclibrary.

Michelle Markel at The Cat and the Fiddle shares a post on story arcs in picture book biographies.

Check out a few National Geographic Easy Readers (Ants and Great Migrations: Elephants) at The Reading Tub.

Another book blending folklore and non-fiction, How the Moon Regained Her Shape is the subject of today’s post at A Wrunge Sponge.

Learn about What Rot! Nature’s Mighty Recycler at Apples With Many Seeds.

Head over to Chicken Spaghetti to read about Liberty or Death, Candy Bomber, and The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

Janet Squires joins us with a review of Math Appeal: Mind-Stretching Math Riddles.


Read Full Post »

We’re continuing our study of African animals, and lions are our focus today. Both of my daughters were fascinated by the stunning photos and cool facts in Face to Face with Lions by Beveryly and Dereck Joubert. The authors have spent 25 years studying the lions of Africa and living among them, and their passion for these amazing creatures shines through in their book. Readers learn about the impact of habitat loss and hunting on lion populations and receive information about what we can do to make the world a better place for lions and other top predators. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in big cats, predators, animals conservation, or animal life in Africa.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-up is at Capstone Connect.

Read Full Post »

One of our favorite homeschool activities this year is our nature study time. Either on Friday or over the weekend so Brent can participate, we read about a topic in a book and/or field guides, then we take a walk, usually just around our neighborhood, looking for our subject. When we come home, we draw in our nature journal. We don’t always find what we’re looking for. The week we hoped to find lots of birds to observe, we didn’t see many that weren’t high in the trees, but we saw plenty of birds the next week when we couldn’t find any butterflies. We always see something interesting and our walks have become a favorite part of our week.

A few weeks ago, we discovered a nature park close to M’s art class and while we were exploring, we discovered lots of cool mushrooms. The girls insisted we bring their dad that weekend and have a mushroom nature study session. I searched the library for mushroom books and discovered The Mushroom Hunt by Simon Frazer. We brought it along with us and the girls loved listening to it while nestled in a pile of leaves.

The book begins with a young girl named Ruthie and her family preparing to go on a mushroom hunt in the woods. The story of their explorations is interspersed with facts about mushrooms such as their ability to grow in the dark and how a network of tiny threads spread into the soil underneath them. By following Ruthie on her family outing, the reader learns how mushrooms grow, how they differ from plants and the characteristics of many different species.

Today’s Non-Fiction Monday Round-Up is at Write About Now.

Read Full Post »

M and C and I have been catching up on books we’d checked out of the library but not gotten around to reading yet. One evening we read through A Tree Is Growing by Arthur Dorros. Both girls were excited to see features of trees they recognized and all three of us learned many new facts about the various trees included. This book would be an excellent choice for a nature study day or the jumping off point for a unit study on trees or a nature study. We’re going to follow up by taking a nature walk today, seeing if we can count the species of trees we recognize and making a sketch of a tree once we get home.

Another night last week, we read Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Catcus by Barbara Bash. I realized that I knew very little about Saquaro cacti, certainly not that they could grow as high as a five-story building. We learned about many different animals that make their home in the Saquaro, how the fruits are used by people and animals and the fascinating details of the Saquaro’s life cycle.

This week’s Non-Fiction Monday is hosted by Zoe by Playing by the Book.

Read Full Post »

As I mentioned earlier, we’ll be working through R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey’s Chemistry Level 1 course this year. The course includes suggestions for living books to go along with the curriculum and I’ve been making a list of suggestions from other sources as well.  I’ve planned the first few weeks of experiments and books but so far, we plan to use How to Think Like A Scientist by Stephen P. Kramer, The Periodic Table: Elements With Style by Simon Basher, What’s Smaller Than A Pygmy Shrew? and Can You Could To A Googol? by Robert E. Wells and Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake by Joanna Cole.

In the past we’ve done lots of informal nature study but I’d like to formalize our studies some more this year. I’m going to encourage both girls and myself to keep nature journals.  I’ve ordered The Handbook of Nature Study (the paperback is currently deeply discounted at Amazon) and we may follow along with the Outdoor Hour Challenges. I’ll also read plenty of books on nature topics with the girls. Right now, we’ve got several great titles from the library: Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus by Barbara Bash, Houses from the Sea by Alice E. Goudey, Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane by Susan Korman, A Tree is Growing by Arthur Dorros.

I’ve also been keeping a list of books about famous scientists, inventors, and adventures for M to read or for us to read together.  Here’s what I have so far: The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky, Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick, A Wizard From the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison by Don Brown, Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Ben Franklin by Gene Barretta, and Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, a graphic novel by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Read Full Post »

M’s top request for summer activities was “science where you mix up things with water and make stuff”.  So I ordered Super Science Concoctions, and last week we had fun with food coloring and water.  First, we placed a few drops of color in a jar of hot water (blue), room temperature water (green) and ice water (red).  We let them sit and watched how the food coloring was distributed throughout the jar by nothing other than molecular motion.  We had to wait a long time for all three jars to be uniform, but we managed to be patient and resist the urge to stir.  We enjoyed comparing the speed of mixing at different temperatures.

As we watched our jars, we mixed food coloring with a small amount of water and made our own watercolors.  The girls had a blast experimenting with the vivid colors.

Claire's Painting

Meg's Painting

Read Full Post »


Brent called us all out recently and we had the privilege of seeing a double rainbow.  By the time I got the camera the second rainbow had mostly faded away though you can still see it faintly in the right corner of the first picture.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »