Category: Fun Science Activity (Page 1 of 111)

#Kidlit for #WorldOceanDay What A Shell Can Tell

Summer conjures up thoughts of a trip to the beach. Today we have a new picture book that is a perfect selection for accompanying a trip to the beach as well as for celebrating #WorldOceanDay on June 8 and #NationalSeashellDay on June 21, What A Shell Can Tell:   Where They Live, What They Eat, How They Move and More by Helen Scales and illustrated by Sonia Pulido.

Award-winning marine biologist Helen Scales introduces children to the wonders of all molluscs (The British spelling for the phylum is used throughout. In the US, they are called mollusks.) She answers a series of questions, such as “What is a shell?” “What can a shell’s color tell you?”,  “Who else uses shells?” etc.

Because Scales is an expert in the topic, the answers are spot on.  They are well organized, informative, and up-to-the-minute accurate. They are also enjoyable to read. Although the recommended reading age is 6 to 9 years old, I would say that it is more like 6 years old (probably with an adult to help) plus. Adults will likely learn new things from it.

The text is well done, but it is the gorgeous illustrations that will keep you going back. They feature  vibrant colors, the interesting shapes, and water that ripples off the page.

What a Shell Can Tell is great to accompany a trip to the beach, or to conjure up cool waves in your own home. It would be a must-have resource for libraries, too. Enjoy a copy today!

Related Activities

What kinds of shells can you identify in this photograph? Do they all belong to mollusks*?

If a trip to the beach is in your future, be sure observe the shells closely and to take along resources to learn more about them.

 

  1. Visit the UNWorldOceansDay website for educational resources in the Youth category. Projects are variable, so you’ll need to curate.
  2. Here at Growing with Science we have pages of activities in the ocean science and beach science categories, including:
  3.  Monterey Bay Aquarium has a treasure trove of online learning opportunities.
  4. Check out our growing list of children’s books about the science of beaches and tide pools  at Science Books for Kids.

*In the photograph above, the crab claw shell is the exoskeleton of a crustacean, not a mollusk.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Phaidon Press (June 8, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838664319
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838664312

Disclosure: An e-ARC of 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.

#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit: Soar with Breaking Through the Clouds

Right in time for Women’s History Month, we have a wonderful new picture book biography,  Breaking Through the Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson by Sandra Nickel and illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia.

Joanne Simpson’s story is one of perseverance. When she was a girl, Joanne discovered the joy of watching clouds. As she sailed in her boat– or flew in her plane in later years– she learned the importance of paying attention to the weather.

Joanne went to the University of Chicago about the same time World War II broke out. They needed someone to teach Air Force officers about winds, and Joanne an aptitude for weather, so they asked her to take over. Once the war ended, however, and Joanne decided to continue her studies, her professors didn’t agree. They told her:

“No woman ever got a doctorate in meteorology. And no woman ever will.”

Joanne wasn’t willing to give up. She worked hard.

She discovered so many important things that she was able to achieve her dreams.

Breaking Through the Clouds is a perfect choice for Women’s History Month, as well as for budding historians and budding scientists. Get inspired by a copy today!

Related Activities

1. Keep a weather journal.

Writing in a journal is a wonderful habit to start. You can keep a journal that is devoted to the weather or you can keep weather records in other kinds of journals.

This Scishow video discusses how to keep a journal and gives a few basics about weather.

 

2. Learn to identify clouds.

Being able to recognize and understand clouds can help in many careers that rely on the weather, from aviation (as mentioned in the book) to agriculture.

Some clouds form thin sheets high in the sky, like altostratus and cirrostratus.

Other clouds are piles, like cumulus clouds.

You can find guides online. For example, NASA has a Cloud ID sheet and activity guide to download (PDF).

Books, like the Peterson Field Guide To Weather (Peterson Field Guides) by Jay Anderson and John A. Day, may also help.

Want to learn more? Visit our growing list of children’s books about weather at Science books for Kids.

And for Women’s History Month, delve into some of the wonderful biographies of women scientists at Science Books for Kids.

 

Sandra Nickel says that story ideas are everywhere; you just have to reach out and grab them.  She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first book, Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack, was awarded a Christopher Award and was a Golden Kite Award finalist. Sandra lives in Chexbres, Switzerland, where she blogs about children’s book writers and illustrators at whatwason.com. To learn more, visit her website.

Twitter:  @senickel
Facebook: @sandranickelbooks
Instagram: @sandranickelbooks

Check out the book trailer and activity/discussion sheets on the resource page!

 

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Abrams Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1419749560
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1419749568

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.

 


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

Great Backyard Bird Count #GBBC 2022

Want to participate in a child-friendly citizen science project that has been ongoing for 25 years? The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up February 18-21, 2022.

 

The Great Backyard Bird Count is one of our favorite bird-centered STEM activities. All you and your family members need to do is count the birds you see over 15 minutes (at least once over the four day period) and then report your findings. Although it is called “backyard,” you may count birds anywhere they are found, including parks, preserves, or fields. There is plenty of information and instructions about getting started at the website.

This year there is a free webinar for participants on Feb 16, 2022. Register here.

This is a wonderful project to revisit year after year. Perhaps you can spot new birds and/or population trends in your own community.  For example, the other day I spotted a Crissal Thrasher (All About Birds page) perched on top of a saguaro. That C-shaped curved beak was incredible and I wondered how it could eat with it.

What can you find? Time to grab those binoculars and meet your bird neighbors!

Related Activities:

Looking for children’s books about birds?

1. Check out Taking Flight: a List of Children’s Books About Bird Migration at Science Books for Kids

Taking-Flight-childrens-books-about-bird-migration-300x270

2. The list of children’s books for young birdwatchers at Science Books for Kids

childrens-books-for-young-birdwatchers

You may also want to try:

Are you planning to participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count? What kinds of birds do you see in your backyard? We’d love to hear.

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