Skip to content

2

The ocean has been in the news, which is why we are excited about this new middle grade book. From Josh and Bethanie Hestermann (the team that brought us Zoology for Kids),  we have Marine Science for Kids: Exploring and Protecting Our Watery World, Includes Cool Careers and 21 Activities with a foreword by Stephanie Arne.

This is one of the fantastic Chicago Review Press books that combine great information with fun hands-on activities to reinforce learning. Throw in beautiful color photographs of awesome animals and mini-biographies of marine science professionals, and you have a treasure trove for middle grade readers.

The book starts with a time line of some important historical events in the field of marine science, with references to discoveries made and boundaries pushed by the likes of Jacques Cousteau, Marie Tharp, and Sylvia Earle.

Then right off the bat, the reader learns what marine science is. Did you know marine scientists study not only saltwater creatures in oceans, but also those found in rivers and lakes?

Now the reader can hop to the chapter that covers their favorite habitat, such as the coast or deep ocean, or they can read from cover to cover. There's so much to discover.

Activities from the book include:

  1. Building a water molecule
  2. Making an edible coral reef
  3. Exploring marine camouflage
  4. Constructing a water-propelled squid
  5. Testing methods for cleaning up an oil spill, etc.

With a glossary, resource list, and selected bibliography, this book is a useful reference for planning lessons beyond the book, as well.

Marine Science for Kids is a must have for budding marine scientists, but will also entrance young readers interested in animals or the environment. It is a fabulous reference for educators, too.

Activity Inspired by Marine Science for Kids:

Hurricanes are violent forms of weather on land, but what happens underwater?

Many things happen as winds churn the ocean water and rain falls. These changes can harm the organisms living there.

Hurricanes cause major changes underwater:

  • Strong water currents and waves
  • Rapid mixing of temperatures and salinity - top water is cooler and more salty than it usually is, lower layers are warmer and less salty.
  • Reduced amounts of dissolved oxygen in the surface water
  • More suspended particles, silt
  • Movement of sand

Usually the larger fish that are strong swimmers, such as sharks, can swim away. But slower or sessile creatures take a pounding. Some are killed.

Activity:

Watch the following video of a coral reef underwater during a hurricane. Make notes of the things you see. Then compare to the ReefCam today. What changes do you notice?

References:

What Happens Underwater University of Miami Rosenstiel School

Other Marine Science Activities (from this blog):

  1. Humpback whales (with three activities)
  2. Jellyfish (with craft activity)
  3. Learn about Steller Sea Lions
  4. Sea Horses and Other Fish
  5. Shore Birds
  6. Tide Pool Invertebrates
  7. Fish (with three activities)

For a bunch of ocean-themed lesson plans, try the Ocean Portal.

 

Looking for more? Try our growing list of children's books about marine science at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 9 and up
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (June 1, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1613735367
ISBN-13: 978-1613735367

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

1

For STEM Friday and National Poetry Month we have a new children's book,  A Rocketful of Space Poems chosen by John Foster and illustrated by Korky Paul.


The collection includes poems from the likes of J. Patrick Lewis, Eric Finney, and Judith Nicholls. Many of the poems are not particularly serious, since they are about monsters, witches, magicians and aliens. They allow the reader to "fly into space, drive to the moon, meet an asteroid dog and a flurb blurp, and then play intergalactic Squibble-Ball." As you can see, the featured poems are highly imaginative but have a science-based foundation underneath. For example:

Space Riddle by John Foster

I used to be a Planet
But I'd a terribLe shock
When they annoUnced
That I was nothing buT
a large lump of rOck.

Korky Paul's illustrations are wacky and delightful. Each two-page spread has a frame around it filled with fun things to discover.

Pick up A Rocketful of Space Poems today and share a few with young readers for National Poetry Month. Let their imaginations soar!

Related activity ideas:

 

You might also want to try our related lists at Science Books for Kids:

Age Range: 7 - 10 years
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Bks (February 15, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1847804861
ISBN-13: 978-1847804860

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

1

Sue Fliess's newest picture book, The Bug Book, starts with text that really reflects the best way to teach science to kids:

"Grab a bucket. Check your guide.
Let's go find some bugs outside!

As you can see from the quote, the text is written in lively rhyming verse. The illustrations are bright, colorful photographs from stock sources. See our full review at our sister blog, Wrapped in Foil.

You can also check out the official trailer:

Insect Poetry Activity:

  1. Download/print some colorful bug photographs.

buckeye-butterfly-dbg-4(Feel free to use images from our Bug of the Week category for this educational project).

2. Encourage children to write their own insect poems inspired by the photographs. Younger children can create descriptive word lists. Acrostic poems (spelling a word with the first letters of each line) can give hesitant poets a comfortable structure to get them stated.

Active
Numerous
Tiny
Soldiers

3. Gather the poems into a small book or display them on a wall.

Related:

Check out our recent series of insect science lessons for kids.

Insect Science Investigations

See our growing list of children's poetry books with an insect theme.

poetry-books-about-insects-for-children

Age Range: 3 - 5 years
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (February 23, 2016)
ISBN-10: 044848935X
ISBN-13: 978-0448489353

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title or cover links and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.