What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Science')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Science, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,147
1. The Octopus Scientists

The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk (Scientists in the Field series) by Sy Montgomery photographs by Keith Ellenbogen Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-544-232709 Grades 5 and up The reviewer borrowed a copy of the book from her local library. Sy Montgomery has a gift for crafting nonfiction texts that transport readers into the world of scientists on location. In

0 Comments on The Octopus Scientists as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
2. Friends with Fins: Informational Videos



I'm always looking for good videos for my students.  As we expand our understanding of what it means to be a reader in this digital age, I know videos are an important part of learning.  I want my students to have lots of experience with quality video.  I've heard over and over again from my students that they enjoy watching video for entertainment, but they don't really know how to watch video to learn. So I know part of my work is helping them to read video.  I think lots of kids pick up bits of info when they are watching for entertainment, but finding good informational videos for kids is sometimes a challenge.  Short videos that are crafted well so that kids can learn information as well as study the video for the craft are things I am always on the lookout for.

Recently I noticed that Jaclyn Friedlander, a Marine Life and Ocean Conservation Expert has been adding weekly video episodes to her blog. (I interviewed Jaclyn on our blog about her picture books a while back.)

The Friends with Fins videos are PERFECT for my students. They are short, engaging and packed with lots of fascinating information.  Many connect to our science standards and I'll watch them a bit more closely to see which align with our science standards.  So much of our life science is about habitats and animal adaptations and so much information connected to that is embedded in these videos.

I also plan to use the videos in Reading Workshop as we think about learning from video clips. And I will use them in writing workshop as they will be great mentor texts for informational writing. They are crafted well and there is lots to study as a writer/moviemaker.  The way that Jaclyn shares information is accessible to young learners.  There are so many possibilities for these videos.  I like them individually, but the collection of the videos on the site provides so even more to learn from.  Not only are these a great link to science standards, but Jaclyn is passionate about ocean conservation and uses her blog and social media to spread that message.

Jaclyn plans to add a video most weeks to the site will continue to grow.  (All of the videos are also available on her Youtube Channel as well. And her books are now available as Kindle or iPad versions.







0 Comments on Friends with Fins: Informational Videos as of 7/21/2015 5:32:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Terminal, by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs | Book Review

The Morris Island gang is back in Terminal, the fifth and final full installment of Kathy and Brendan Reichs’ NY Times Bestselling Virals series.

Add a Comment
4. Lagrange point and a plan by NASA for space exploration


NASA relies on the existence of the Lagrange points between each set of planetary bodies, which he intends to explore interplanetary space plan for success. Although this seems at first vague and mystical alien concept, but all the training, in fact, is actually quite easy to understand astrophysicist.

Lagrange physics simply nothing more than a simple set of two equations that can be used as an alternative to Newton's second law; Force equals mass times acceleration. Application Lagrange point between two competing forces of the body, thus, the point at which the forces are equal and opposite. According to Newton's third law, if the net force acting on a body is zero, at rest to remain at rest and in motion, if it is to keep moving.

Source: NASA

Expressed mathematically, showing a graph of a large bowl. Lagrange point to point on the bottom. This point represents a point at which the maximum energy, the bottom of the bowl to the body to be delivered from the container body to prevent pullback at the bottom of the cup and return to the minimum capacity. Thus, the minimum point of the shell represents the point of maximum stability in preventing disturbing influences net imbalance of forces on the two gravitational forces themselves. It's orbit is the most stable speed and angular momentum. The body in question may be the space station between the two masses of the Earth and the Moon, two interplanetary bodies or mass is much more than a spaceship.

As with NASA and its plans for the future of space travel, they are able to use the formula to calculate the Lagrange Lagrange points between the various celestial bodies, and thus to determine the position of these orbits. Thus, we can build a space station as the steps between the Earth and the Moon, the Moon and Mars, and so on, so you want to go. What would be unrealistic to expect ship capable of landing with far space in an emergency or the need to make repairs to return, it makes the possibility of expanding the space outside the solar system and beyond a possible theory as part of our technology and cost considerations.

0 Comments on Lagrange point and a plan by NASA for space exploration as of 7/19/2015 3:38:00 PM
Add a Comment
5. The best museums in New York: The New Museum


As the Whitney Museum, New Museum, innovation and originality in art is dedicated. In contrast to the Whitney, but specifically "avant-garde" has brought the new museum's commitment to contemporary art, and not a concept expressed. If you are interested in monitoring the work of young artists working on new and interesting projects of the New Museum could be your ideal place to visit. In the new building, the architects designed, located, in order to make the shape of a transparent interior, this museum in New York visitors and critics for the quality of the observed light inside because the windows in unusual places. The museum was founded in 1977, it is the only museum in the list of all the museums in New York to focus on contemporary art. In recent years, its location in a hip, artistic neighborhood of Bowery, the New Museum in New York, in the career of artists from around the world began.

Augustus Frisbie House - source: nixonlibrary


Located in the heart of Plantation, The New Museum in New York is one of a number of small galleries, museums, art-house cafes and small shops in this (gentrifying true artistic) area. Although it is not affordable for the majority of live, Plantation, but the house large number of interesting places. From a dealer Haunted House Museum Lower East Side Tenement Museum around the corner, and other interesting areas of the region, visitors safe in the area that you want to do something interesting that before or after visiting the museum. Also buying near South Broadway in Soho provides a convenient way to avoid the scene of contemporary art and the world of contemporary fashion. Trains new museum are numerous, but take the best, J stop on the Bowery. Another train stops at the New Museum in St. Prince, 2nd Ave - Lower East Side, Broadway-Lafayette, Grand Street and Spring Street-Lexington. Lines serving the stop on B, D, F, H, N, R, 4, and 6, so there are many opportunities for rail transport in the museum in New York.

As for the works of art can be seen at the Museum Neues, the museum received a remarkable exhibits of contemporary art from around the world. Over the past five years, the New Museum of Art and more countries issued from all over the world. Variety is a good chance that there is at least something that you like here. If you are a fan of modern conceptual art, or to find a new museum to be a rewarding experience. The radical labor sculptures, paintings and mixed media, as shown here, of course, be interesting and informative.

Since it focuses exclusively on contemporary artists, which is the New Museum in New York, unlike many museums in New York, who has no permanent collection. This, as its architecture suggests seven story only bright space for the ever-changing works of art by artists working today. At one point, thousands of these works may inhabit the new museum space. Because galleries and exhibitions are always in motion, a new museum like no other museum in New York, where you will always come back to see what's new.

We invite visitors to New Museum your comments, photos and videos with the wider community museum in New York City to share a museum. The new museum, more than any other in our list of museums in New York, is designed to awaken the conversation. So, to answer, and then send your answer to the museums in New York City! We welcome any thoughts and feelings that you have about a particular exposure. All you need to participate in the New York museums will help our community, arts and culture in New York to enjoy, so you share your content and help us to the community museums in New York add.

0 Comments on The best museums in New York: The New Museum as of 7/19/2015 3:22:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. Summer Science Experiments

So far this summer, we’ve stuck close to home. We’re working on projects around the house and the yard, and some days, everything feels like a science experiment. Lucky for us, we’re still learning!


I’m tending monarchs in the backyard—this is my sixth year—and finding them fascinating as usual. I learn something new every year. This year, I’m taking a more hands-off approach. I trust that they know what they’re doing. (You can see more photos, monarch info, and the tent where I keep them on my web site.)

I started milkweed plants from seed again this spring. A couple of last year’s butterfly milkweed plants are blooming, but this year’s are still tiny. I was surprised to see when I repotted a few that the roots were filling the pots. Lesson learned: Larger pots to come.


We’re experimenting with food, too. My husband discovered a mulberry tree, so we’ve been picking, baking, and eating them fresh by the handful. And in our granola, of course, the latest batch of which includes the maple syrup we bottled last winter. So satisfying!


This year’s garden includes way too much kale, which we’ve added to salads, given to neighbors, and last night baked in a quiche with oven-roasted tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Possibly the best quiche ever—so glad I made two!

My summer reading includes a large pile of botany books for a new nonfiction picture book I’m excited to work on. My writing group gave me positive reviews, encouragement, and a number of helpful suggestions I can’t wait to try. Must get back to it! But first, here’s a mulberry poem:

Squirrel stares at me—
mulberry stained, pail half full.
We can share, can’t we?

Kimberley Moran is hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup. Enjoy! And happy summer!

JoAnn Early Macken

0 Comments on Summer Science Experiments as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. International Kissing Day and DNA

Another ‘Awareness Day’, International Kissing Day, is coming up on July 6. It might not seem obvious but kissing, like most subjects can now be easily linked to the science of DNA. Thus, there could be no more perfect opener for my Double Helix column, given the elegance and beauty of a kiss. To start, there is the obvious biological link between kissing and DNA: propagation of the species. Kissing is not only pleasurable but seems to be a solid way to assess the quality and suitability of a mate.

The post International Kissing Day and DNA appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on International Kissing Day and DNA as of 7/2/2015 5:00:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. Hearing, but not understanding

Imagine that your hearing sensitivity for pure tones is exquisite: not affected by the kind of damage that occurs through frequent exposure to loud music or other noises. Now imagine that, despite this, you have great problems in understanding speech, even in a quiet environment. This is what occurs if you have a temporal processing disorder

The post Hearing, but not understanding appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Hearing, but not understanding as of 7/1/2015 6:52:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. Ancestry Looking Forward: Orphan Black and Real Cosima

Cosima Herter and Graeme Manson

My Longreads profile of Orphan Black’s brilliant science consultant Cosima Herter — known to the show’s actors and creators as “Real Cosima” — ranges from science, chance, and emotion to Darwin, humanized mice, DIY synthetic biology, and much more. Here’s how it starts:

BBC America’s Orphan Black seems so immediate, so plausible, so unfuturistic, that Cosima Herter, the show’s science consultant, is used to being asked whether human reproductive cloning could be happening in a lab somewhere right now. If so, we wouldn’t know, she says. It’s illegal in so many countries, no one would want to talk about it. But one thing is clear, she told me, when we met to talk about her work on the show: in our era of synthetic biology — of Craig Venter’s biological printer and George Church’s standardized biological parts, of three-parent babies and of treatment for cancer that involves reengineered viruses— genetics as we have conceived of it is already dead. We don’t have the language for what is emerging.

It’s one of my favorite things I’ve written, and also one of the strangest. It’s very much keeping with the forward-looking aspects of the book I’m working on. And it has the endorsements of a whole lotta Orphan Blackers, including, Tatiana Maslany, Graeme Manson, and Herter herself, which makes me happy.

Add a Comment
10. Look away now: The prophecies of Nostradamus

If you like your prophecies pin sharp then look away now. The 16th century celebrity seer Nostradamus excelled at the exact opposite, couching his predictions in terms so vague as to be largely meaningless. This has not, however, prevented his soothsayings attracting enormous and unending interest, and his book – Les Propheties – has rarely been out of print since it was first published 460 years ago. Uniquely, for a renaissance augur, the writings of Nostradamus are perhaps as popular today as they were four and a half centuries ago.

The post Look away now: The prophecies of Nostradamus appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Look away now: The prophecies of Nostradamus as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
11. Hogwarts Houses Correspond To Real Psychological Personality Traits, New Study Finds

A new study has determined that there is a correlation between a person’s personality traits and the house in which they are sorted on Pottermore. Bustle.com reports:

In the study, which is due to be published in the journal Personality and Individual Difference, researchers looked at the sorting quiz on the official Harry Potter site Pottermore and gauged personality measures among fans who had undergone sorting. Specifically, the researchers were looking for what are referred to as the “Big Five” personality traits — extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness — as well as the need to belong, the need for cognition, and the so-called Dark Triad traits. That’s a real psychological term, by the way; the Dark Triad consists of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

There has been some speculation amongst fans that Pottermore’s test–which functions as a virtual sorting hat–is rigged to equally distribute members throughout the four houses. The idea is that this will make competition for the house cup more fair; however, this study helps to disprove that notion by shedding light–or perhaps casting a Lumos charm?– on just how accurate Pottermore’s algorithm seems to be.

You can read the full article about the study here.

 

 

Add a Comment
12. The Jurassic world of … dinosaurs?

The latest incarnation (I chose that word advisedly!) of the Jurassic Park franchise has been breaking box-office records and garnering mixed reviews from the critics. On the positive side the film is regarded as scary, entertaining, and a bit comedic at times (isn't that what most movies are supposed to be?). On the negative side the plot is described as rather 'thin', the human characters two-dimensional, and the scientific content (prehistoric animals) unreliable, inaccurate, or lacking entirely in credibility.

The post The Jurassic world of … dinosaurs? appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on The Jurassic world of … dinosaurs? as of 6/19/2015 5:59:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Fowler’s Toad: He Chose Our Pond


The Aliens Inc, Chapter Book Series

Try Book 1 for Free



One night In May, I noticed a very loud sound from right outside our window. My husband, Dwight, has a fish pond right outside our kitchen door.

The fish pond is used by our outdoor cat for drinking water. Notice the toads in the lower left corner.
The fish pond is used by our outdoor cat for drinking water.



The sound was loud! So, on May 26, I whipped out my iphone and taped the noise.

You’ll hear the noise at 7 seconds into the tape, and 12 seconds, 18 seconds and 23 seconds. The sounds came from a small frog or toad. After comparing my recording to recordings of frogs/toads of Arkansas, I concluded we had a Fowler Toad, which is common in this area.

After reading more, I realized that this toad had chosen our pond as a breeding pond. He chose us! He chose our pond!

As a child, I remember we raised tadpoles once. I was excited about the chance to watch the process again, especially because my grandkids could watch this time.

The toad sang and sang for several nights. All night long, it seemed.

Then, on June 11, I took a morning walk and came back to find two Fowler toads in the pond. The girl showed up!

Fowler Toad with Egg String


Fowler Toads mate in what’s called amplexus, which means the eggs are externally fertilized. The smaller male is usually on the female’s back for the duration.

Another view of the couple.
Another view of the couple.



After the mating, the female is trying to find a way out of the slippery sides of the pond. I had to put a fish net on the edge for her to get out. The male hopped out easily.
After the mating, the female is trying to find a way out of the slippery sides of the pond. I had to put a fish net on the edge for her to get out. The male hopped out easily.


Tadpoles: Day 3

We watched the pond every day and on Day 3, we found tadpoles! Dozens and dozens. Scientists report that the Fowler Toads may lay 5000-25,000 eggs at a time. But the pond had several goldfish and I knew that many of the eggs would be eaten before they could hatch.

Now, there are dozens and dozens of tadpoles.

Dozens of tadpoles hatched. However, they are shy and don't like to be photographed.
Dozens of tadpoles hatched. However, they are shy and don’t like to be photographed.


Close-up of the tadpole.
Close-up of the tadpole.



The Flamingo's eye view of the pond and the toads.
The Flamingo’s eye view of the pond and the toads.



As a person who writes science and nature books for kids, I am always conscious of the possibilities. But this isn’t a book, and may never become one. The story is too common; it’s not ground-breaking science. It’s just fun. And that’s enough.

Add a Comment
14. #708 – National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 by Nat. Geo Society & Nat. Geo Kids Magazine

cover2
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016
National Geographic Society & National Geographic Kids Magazine
National Geographic Society        5/12/2015
978-1-4263-1921-1
352 pages         Age 8—12
.

“This New York Times bestseller is packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating articles about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include a special section on animal friends; an updated “Fun and Games” chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; a new “Dino Myths Busted” feature; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; a new special “15 Facts” feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more! And, this is the only kids’ almanac with mobile media features that allow kids to access National Geographic videos, photo galleries, and games.” [publisher]

Review
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016—Wow, where do I start? Color blasts out from every page. The photography is as spectacular as National Geographic photography has always been—brilliant, intimately detailed, knock-you-off-your-feet fantabulous. Divided into ten sections, the Kids Almanac 2016 begins with a section on interesting things happening in 2016, and then it explores the usual topics of history, culture, science, geography, nature, and animals. The almanac also includes a section on green technology and its effect on Earth, and a section about exploration and survival. Most likely, a favorite for kids will be the section on games. Actually, the Kids Almanac 2016 contains a game throughout the entire 350 pages. In each chapter is a clue. Find all ten clues and you can open up digital extras.

dino mythsIn reading the Kids Almanac 2016, I think National Geographic has covered all the subjects kids will find interesting and all those they need to know about. Adults can get a lot out of this almanac as well. There is a tremendous amount of information in this relatively small book. I loved the animal topics, of which there are many. Kids interested in dinosaurs will find a prehistoric timeline, nine “Bet you didn’t know” facts, and myths. Each section ends with a quiz on that section’s subject. When you cannot get to a place, or want to know what is happening in different places around the world, the Kids Almanac 2016 is a tremendous aid. Kids can also dig a little deeper in subjects they love and learn about subjects they never thought about or thought were dull. There is not one tedious word or picture in the Kids Almanac 2016. Here are a few subjects I found to be amazing:

“Secrets of the Blue Holes”
Animal photography and how to get the shot.
“The Wonders of Nature: the Oceans”

Worlds Wackiest Houses”

“Worlds Wackiest Houses”

“16 Cool Facts about Coral Reefs”
The jokes and comics in Fun and Games
Orangutan to the Rescue (Survival Story)”

What would a National Geographic book be without its gorgeous maps? The Kids Almanac 2016 has plenty of maps and flags. I think the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 is a must read, if not a must have, for kids, especially middle graders who will learn a lot without realizing they are learning. The Kids Almanac 2016 is fun, exciting, and interesting. The pages are colorful, the photographs and images extremely detailed, and the subject matter is diverse.

volcanosThough kids are just now beginning to enjoy their summer school breaks, the Kids Almanac 2016 will keep them reading through the summer, which will help kids during their next school year, make them more informed about their world. Parents concerned about the books their kids read will have not one worry about this almanac. Every word, every subject, and every article is kid-friendly. The National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 is an interesting read that will keep kids hooked long past summer vacation.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS ALMANAC 2016. Text and images copyright © 2015 by National Geographic Society. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, National Geographic Society in partnership with National Geographic Kids Magazine, Washington DC.

Purchase National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 at AmazonBook DepositoryNational Geographic.

Kids! Join the National Geographic Kids Book Club HERE!
Teachers and Librarians can find additional information at: http://www.ngchildrensbooks.org
National Geographic Educational site is HERE.

Learn more about National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 HERE.
Check out the National Geographic Society website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com
Find other National Geographic books at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/books
Learn more about the National Geographic Kids Magazine at the website: http://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

Kids Almanac 2015 
.
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Review section word count = 496

nat geo kids almanac 2016


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: and animals, culture, fun, games, geography, going green, history, liss instructive information, maps, National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016, National Geographic Kids Magazine, National Geographic Society, nature, science

Add a Comment
15. Sexual deception in orchids

“In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but he could have said the same for insects too. Male insects will be following the scent of females, looking for a partner, but not every female is what she seems to be. It might look like the orchid is getting some unwanted attention in the video below, but it’s actually the bee that’s the victim. The orchid has released complex scents to fool the bee into thinking it’s meeting a female.

The post Sexual deception in orchids appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Sexual deception in orchids as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Making a game out of science fiction for 8-12 year olds

sfbooks1

Once a month I lead a book group for 8-12 year olds at our local public library and our most recent session was about science fiction books. It was one of the most enjoyable sessions we’ve had, so I thought I’d share what we did.

My first challenge was to come up with a list of science fiction which 8-12 year olds might enjoy. This wasn’t such an easy task, but in the end my book list read like this:

  • Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Cosmic
  • Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon
  • A range of Dr Who books
  • Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time – both the original and the graphic novel (adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson)
  • SF Said’s Phoenix
  • Various Star Wars spin off books
  • Philip Reeve Sarah McIntyre’s Cakes in Space
  • Nicholas Fisk’s Star Stormers and Space Hostages
  • Jen Reese’s Above world
  • John Christopher’s The Tripods
  • Paul Magrs’ Lost on Mars
  • Mark Haddon’s BOOM!
  • Andrew Norriss’ Aquila
  • Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Sophia McDougall’s Mars Evacuees
  • Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell’s Fortunately The Milk
  • Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl comics
  • James Turner’s Star Cat
  • Mini Grey’s Space Dog
  • Jon Scieszka’s Frank Einstein novels
  • sfbooks2

    Several people helped me come up with this list (thank you!), but I’d like to give a special shout out to author SF Said who was tremendously helpful in making suggestions about books I might like to consider.

    I knew that most of the kids in my group hadn’t read any science fiction at all (though most had seen either some Dr Who episodes or the Star Wars films), and so first we had a discussion about what we mean when we talk about science fiction in relation to books. The definition we came up with was:

    Fiction which typically focuses on:

  • either science or technology
  • life in space, on other planets or aliens
  • and whilst there is often some sort of fantasy element, the fantasy is potentially believable (through technological advances, for example), and therefore distinct from fantasy with dragons and spells.
  • As the aim of the session was to get the kids exposed to a wide variety of SF, and to choose at find at least one SF book which they thought looked interesting enough to read, I wanted to expose them to lots of different books in the short time we had. And so I came up with a board game which the group played in teams.

    All the books on my list above, plus some space-themed poetry and space non-fiction books were placed in the centre of our table, and each team was give a game template, a dice and a lego spaceman or alien as their counter.

    spacegame

    The aim of the game was for each team to get to the end of the board game (set out a little like snakes and ladders ie with the possibility of having to move forward and backwards on the board), collecting as many (glow in the dark) stars as possible along the way. Teams won stars by correctly answering questions associated with the numbered star they landed on each time they rolled the dice.

    All the questions were about the books in the centre of the table, and so to find the answers, the kids had to do a lot of browsing. Some questions were very simple (“Who is the author of X”), some involved a value judgment (“Choose three words to describe the illustrations in Y”) and some required more in-depth browsing inside books (eg “Which book opens with the lines XYX” or “Which book is set in X”). When each team had found the answer to a given question they came and gave me the answer, and if it was correct (or simply reasonably thoughtful in the case of value judgments), the team got a star and returned to roll the dice for their next question.

    The game was over when every team had reached the end point on the board, and the winning team was that which had collected the most stars. The victors each won a Mars bar (you get the space connection?) and the book of their choice from a small selection I brought with me from my past review pile.

    Once winnings had been distributed we went round the group and everyone had to pick up one book which had caught their eye, and comment on what it was about the book that they liked the look of.

    The session went with a blast (no pun intended, but I’m happy to keep it in 😉 ). I think it worked so well because:

  • There was a (team) competitive element – this meant the game got quite loud and physical, with lots of books being picked up and discussions going on
  • The kids won stuff – everyone went home with some glow in the dark stars, in addition to the victors’ winnings
  • The kids had a period of pretty intensely browsing books they might not otherwise have picked up, and everyone went away with a new discovery (the most popular books were the graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time, Space Cat, Space Dog, Phoenix, Mars Evacuees and Lost on Mars)
  • If you’d like to try the game out you can download a copy of this board game here (pdf) but you’ll need to create your own set of questions to go with whichever books you’re using in your session. You’ll see on the board that there are time warps (they look like tornadoes), a teleporter, and two tardises (tardi?) – if kids landed on these they had the choice to go forwards or backwards along the board, and pretty soon they realised that it was actually beneficial to move back wherever possible as this gave the team the chance to win more stars.

    Next month’s bookgroup meeting is actually all about celebrating our first birthday, so if you’ve any suggestions for great book-themed party games to play, I’d really love to hear about them!

    If you’d like to receive all my posts from this blog please sign up by your email address in the box below:

    Delivered by FeedBurner


    If you liked this post you might enjoy two past posts of mine: 7 ways to set up and run a children’s book group or Book Bingo!.

    0 Comments on Making a game out of science fiction for 8-12 year olds as of 6/7/2015 10:46:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    17. TED Talks and DNA

    One of the most fun and exciting sources of information available for free on the Internet are the videos found on the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) website. TED is a hub of stories about innovation, achievement and change, each artfully packaged into a short, highly accessible talk by an outstanding speaker. As of April 2015, the TED website boasts 1900+ videos from some of the most imminent individuals in the world. Selected speakers range from Bill Clinton and Al Gore to Bono and other global celebrities to a range of academics experts.

    The post TED Talks and DNA appeared first on OUPblog.

    0 Comments on TED Talks and DNA as of 1/1/1900
    Add a Comment
    18. Is the history of science still relevant?

    It was a simple request: “Try and put the fun back into microbiology”. I was about to write a new practical course for first year students, and apparently there had been complaints that microbiology is just another form of cookbook chemistry. Discussions showed that they liked the idea of doing their own experiments without a pre-determined outcome. Of course, with living microorganisms, safety must be a major concern, and some control was needed to prevent hazardous surprises, but “fun” and safety are not mutually exclusive.

    The post Is the history of science still relevant? appeared first on OUPblog.

    0 Comments on Is the history of science still relevant? as of 5/23/2015 2:48:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    19. Audiobook reviews

    I recently reviewed two audiobooks with a peculiar connection.  Masterminds is a thriller set in the seemingly perfect town of Serenity, New Mexico.  The Way to Stay in Destiny is a character-driven novel set in the woefully imperfect town of Destiny, Florida.  Neither town is quite what it seems.  Click the links to read the complete reviews.

    Masterminds by Gordon Korman.  Read by a cast of five(2015) 

    [http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/98783/]
    A contemporary science thriller set in New Mexico - a real page-turner!  This is the first in a planned series.  I'm not sure how he can top this one!



     [http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/99246/]
    Historical fiction set in 1970s Florida by the author of Glory Be. Another paean to the power of music.  (Try Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, too!)




    I'm confident that either of these is great in print as well.

    0 Comments on Audiobook reviews as of 4/22/2015 8:47:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    20. Earth Day 2015

    In honor of our beautiful planet...



    Northern Lights
    by
    STEVEN JAMES PETRUCCIO

    0 Comments on Earth Day 2015 as of 4/22/2015 4:25:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    21. The Soda Bottle School: Creative problem solving led by kids & teachers (ages 7-10)

    Our 3rd grade teachers are also focusing on persuasive writing this month, and they are asking kids to identify problems and suggest solutions. The challenge for kids is to explain how their solutions will work and persuade others that it's a good idea. We read The Soda Bottle School as an example of how kids and teachers in one community identified an important problem and led the way with a creative solution -- and the kids loved it.
    The Soda Bottle School
    by Seño Laura Kutner and Suzanne Slade
    illustrated by Aileen Darragh
    Tillbury House, 2014
    Your local library
    Amazon
    ages 7-10
    The town of Granados has a problem: they don't have enough room in their school to teach all the kids. But they have another problem, too, that kids can relate to: there is too much trash all around their community. One day, teacher Seño Laura notices that a soda bottle is the same width as the beam of an unfinished school building. She has a crazy idea: what if they used empty soda bottles to create walls for a school? It could take care of two problems at once!

    The whole community pulled together to support the teachers and children, gathering thousands of empty plastic bottles and stuffing them with trash to create “eco-ladrillos” (bricks). These bricks were stacked between the framing for the building, held in place by chicken wire fencing. A thin layer of concrete was slapped on top as a final layer.

    Slade and Kutner draw young readers right into the story, helping them relate to the protagonist, young Fernando. My students especially liked the photographs and authors note included at the end of the story. I just found this news clip that would be another great way to share this story.

    My students were interested and inspired to think of problems they would want to solve around our school. I especially liked this example because Kutner and Slade emphasize the importance of teamwork and thinking outside the box.

    The review copy came from our school library collection. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

    ©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

    0 Comments on The Soda Bottle School: Creative problem solving led by kids & teachers (ages 7-10) as of 4/24/2015 4:29:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    22. A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

    A Nest is Noisy Written by Dianna Hutts Aston; Illustrations by Sylvia Long Chronicle Books. 2015 ISBN: 9781452127132 Preschool on up I received a copy of this book from the publisher. They’ve done it again!  The award-winning duo, Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long, have added a fifth title to their informational science picture book series. (An Egg is Quiet, A Seed is Sleepy, A

    0 Comments on A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long as of 4/25/2015 5:03:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    23. For the birds: Poetry that celebrates our fine feather friends (ages 4-9)

    Every spring, I love hearing birds chirping outside as we wake in the morning--a sure sign that daylight is coming earlier each day. As we enjoy our last week of National Poetry Month, I would like to share two new books that celebrate the beauty of birds in nature, prompting us to marvel at birds in nature.

    Sweep Up the Sun
    by Helen Frost
    illustrated by Rick Lieder
    Candlewick, 2015
    Your local library
    Amazon
    ages 4-9
    Poet Helen Frost reunites with photographer Rick Lieder to explore the wonders of the natural world. I adored their previous collaboration, Step Gently Out, and this new book is equally as delightful. Frost's poem encourages young readers to watch birds in flight playing in the sky, learning to fly and trusting the sky to hold them aloft. But she also encourages children to do the same: 
    "Spread your feathers,
    sweep up the sun,
    ride the wind and explore."
    We can read this as a direct encouragement for children to take off and soar on their own. Lieder's amazing photography captures birds in mid-flight, freezing a moment in time. The final two pages provide brief information about each of the species photographed, ranging from house sparrows to Northern Cardinals.
    The Sky Painter:
    Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist
    by Margarita Engle
    illustrated by Aliona Bereghici
    Two Lions, 2015
    Your local library
    Amazon
    ages 6-9
    Margarita Engle captivated me with her biography of Louis Fuertes, the artist who is known as the "father of modern bird art" because of the way he painted birds in flight in their natural environments. Fuertes loved watching birds as a young boy. As he began his career, he realized that revered artists such as James Audubon painted birds they had shot and killed, so that they could study their anatomy in detail.Fuertes decided that he wanted to let birds live, so he developed the skills to paint them, quickly capturing their flight and grace:
    "painting quickly, while wings
    swoop
    and race
    across
    wild
    blue
    sky,
    so swift,
    and so alive!"
    Pair these two books together and talk with children about the power of art and the call of nature. Why did these artists decide to focus on birds? What drew them to capture their flight? What do they want their audiences to think about? How do the poets words capture the birds' flight in a different way?

    The review copies were kindly sent by the publishers, Candlewick Press and Two Lions. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

    ©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

    0 Comments on For the birds: Poetry that celebrates our fine feather friends (ages 4-9) as of 4/28/2015 9:47:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    24. DNA: The amazing molecule

    DNA is the foundation of life. It codes the instructions for the creation of all life on Earth. Scientists are now reading the autobiographies of organisms across the Tree of Life and writing new words, paragraphs, chapters, and even books as synthetic genomics gains steam. Quite astonishingly, the beautiful design and special properties of DNA makes it capable of many other amazing feats. Here are five man-made functions of DNA, all of which are contributing to the growing “industrial-DNA” phenomenon.

    The post DNA: The amazing molecule appeared first on OUPblog.

    0 Comments on DNA: The amazing molecule as of 5/8/2015 9:18:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    25. Sex, cars, and the power of testosterone

    A red open car blasts past you, exhaust and radio blaring, going at least 10 miles faster than the speed limit. Want to take a bet on the driver? Well, you won’t get odds. Everyone knows the answer. All that exhibitionism shouts out the commonplace, if not always welcome, features of young males. Just rampant testosterone, you might say. And that’s right. It is testosterone. The young man may be driving the car but testosterone is what’s driving him.

    The post Sex, cars, and the power of testosterone appeared first on OUPblog.

    0 Comments on Sex, cars, and the power of testosterone as of 1/1/1900
    Add a Comment

    View Next 25 Posts