Chemical Reactions! #Kidlit #STEM Projects for National Chemistry Week

Right in time for National Chemistry Week October 17–23, 2021, we have Chemical Reactions!: With 25 Science Projects for Kids by Dr. Susan Berk Koch (website) and illustrated by Micah Rauch.

You can find tons of so-called chemistry experiments on the internet. The problem is it takes time to find the legitimate ones (in among the ads), and weed out the ones that are not age-appropriate or don’t work. Dr. Koch has done all that for readers ages 7-10, plus added the background and educational materials needed for successful learning.

The book starts with a historical timeline and a periodical table of the elements. The introduction lets young readers know why they should study chemistry, as well as introduces vocabulary words in convenient sidebars.

The following chapters are activities grouped based on chemical principles. Chapter 1 is about mixtures and how to separate them. Chapter 2 is about chemical reactions such as photosynthesis and making crystals. Chapter 3 covers water and the concepts of acids and bases. Chapter 4 plunges into gases and Chapter 5 explores manmade compounds, for example, the metal mixes in coins. Scattered throughout are QR codes that take you to extras like relevant YouTube videos.

The back matter has an extensive glossary, an explanation of metric conversions
, places you can find out more,  a list of the essential questions asked in each chapter, plus a full index.

The book is illustrated with diagrams, photographs and some fun cartoons, like the one you see on the cover.

Chemical Reactions! is perfect for budding chemists and students who love their learning hands on. It would also be a wonderful resource for a unit on chemistry or to develop experiments for an elementary-level science fair. Check out a copy and see what develops.

 

Related activity suggestions:

It is hardly necessary to supplement such a wonderful selection of activities, but here are a few.

 

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 – 10 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Nomad Press (October 15, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1619309416
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1619309418

Disclosure: An e-ARC of this book was provided by the publisher. 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.

STEM Friday #Kidlit Night Becomes Day

Today we have an astounding picture book, Night Becomes Day: Changes in Nature by Cynthia Argentine.

The premise of Night Becomes Day isn’t easy to explain, but simply amazing. It is an introduction to periodic scientific processes such as life cycles, the water cycle, and the rock cycle. However, no topic is treated separately. Argentine overlaps the concepts, comparing and contrasting, to show the general qualities of transformations.

To help clarify, let’s look at an example. the author compares the ancient process of forming a diamond crystal deep in the Earth (part of the rock cycle) to the brief, fragile formation of a snowflake (part of the water cycle). These complex processes are revealed using age-appropriate text matched with high quality stock photos. She pairs words like quick – slow, hot – cold, dull-brighten to show the contrasts.

It appears simple on the surface, but there’s a lot more going here if you pay attention. Take the subtle framing device. The words of the beginning:

Night becomes day.
Flower becomes fruit.

are inverted as the book closes, giving a nested effect.

Fruit becomes flower.
Day becomes night.

So cool!

While you are catching your breath from that, here comes the back matter to knock you over. Argentine’s author’s note explains how changes occur in both living and nonliving things, how connections are made, and how the science of making connections is Ecology. In the next section, “A Closer Look At The Science of Change,” is actually a zoomed out view of the text, explaining the big picture. In the diamond versus snowflake spread, for example, she explains how chemistry, geology, and physics are all involved in the process of forming crystals.

Night Becomes Day: Changes in Nature helps young readers see how natural processes relate to one another. Reading it might just transform them!

Activity Suggestions:

Be sure to visit Cynthia Argentine’s beautiful website.

This books has inspired me to come up with more posts about Ecology. In the mean time, try:

Another review, with more from the author at Archimedes Notebook

Edit:  Check out the Lerner Blog for more great information about the book. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for links to the free teaching guide.

 

 

Ages:  4-9
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™ (October 5, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1541581245
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1541581241

Disclosure: An e-ARC of this book was provided by the publisher. 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.

STEM Friday #Kidlit Scurry! The Truth About Spiders

 

Right in time for Halloween, we have a newly emerged informational picture book, Scurry! The Truth About Spiders by Annette Whipple and illustrated by Juanbjuan Oliver and Franco Rivolli.

Have you ever wondered how spiders make silk, why they are so hairy, or what they eat? Scurry! has all the answers. After explaining what characteristics a spider has and introducing a few common types, Annette Whipple delves into their life cycles and behavior.

Did you know that by weight, spider silk is stronger than steel? Amazing!

The books in Reycraft’s Truth About … series are illustrated with high-quality stock photographs. As you can see above, this title has an added feature of a cartoon sidebar on the right of each spread with additional tips and information. Fun!

In the back is a hands-on challenge to create a spider web, a longer list of different types of spiders, and a glossary.

Scurry! is a delightful introduction to the world of spiders. You will want to add a copy to your favorite young reader’s Halloween treat bag!

Related Information and Activities

Activity:  Go on a spider hunt

Going on a spider hunt in your neighborhood or at a nearby park is a wonderful way to kindle children’s interest in spiders. For best success, remember that spiders are mainly nocturnal or active at night and plan your hunt early in the morning or later in the day. Look for hints of silk or webs to help you find where spiders may be hiding. Finally, caution children to look but don’t touch.

Here’s some of our recent finds.

First we spotted this abandoned orb web glittering in the morning sun. Some kinds of spiders take down their webs during the day. A few even eat their own webs to recycle the proteins. Spider web is not what you’d probably want for breakfast!

People often put up fake spider webs for Halloween, but work hard to remove real ones. On the other hand, we leave old spider webs in place for the hummingbirds, which use spider silk to make their nests.

Before long we discovered the web maker in similar web strung between two bushes. It is a Western orb weaver spider.

Other plants had small clusters of messy webs. Those were home to cellar spiders (previous post), which are the most common spider around our house.

Finally, we found a few of these little beauties:

Feather-legged spiders pose with their long front legs directly in from of their bodies. They are also called cribellate orb weavers. The spiders in this group lack venom.

The web around where they sit is made up of small cells, which creates a springy trampoline.

Feather-legged spiders are small and easy to miss.

How about you? Have you seen any cool spiders this week?

 

More:

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 11 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Reycraft Books (September 30, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1478870230
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1478870234

 

Disclosure: This book was provided as an electronic ARC 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.

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