Monday, April 1, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: FUNdamental experiments: Dirt by Ellen Lawrence

This is a sample from a new series from Bearport which I am very excited about. There are lots of experiment books out there but these have got a definite edge.

First, at only 24 pages with large, bold type, they're geared for younger readers and kids in general. However, the shorter length does not mean the book is lacking in content. Each page is packed with information, experiments, and ideas.

This book focuses on dirt (the other titles currently available in the series are Color, Motion, and Water). With simple investigative experiments, it walks kids through what dirt is made of, how rocks break down into soil, compost, how dirt interacts with water, how dirt helps plants grow, and worms. At the end of the experiments is two pages of "discovery time" with answers to the experimental questions. More sections of additional information encourage kids to think about how dirt is part of their daily lives, plus a glossary of terms, index, brief bibliography and link to learn more at the publisher's website.

This is the perfect book to get kids started on the scientific process by observing and recording what they see. Although some are a little messy, most of the experiments would be easily translated to a library (or school) setting. The text is informative but doesn't bog down and there are lots of questions to keep kids interested in the experiments.

Verdict: This is a must-have for your library, especially if you do any kind of STEM  programming or if you're planning on starting. Even if you don't use the experiments in this book, it gives a great lesson plan on how to set up observation and experimentation for kids. If we had a category for experiment and how-to books in Cybils I'd say this was a winner!

ISBN: 9781617727375; Published 2013 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher; Series purchased for library


Tammy Flanders said...

Thanks for this recommendation. I'll look for it.
Apples with Many Seeds

Perogyo said...

Messy sounds like it would be a hit with my kids if not me! I love experiment books but so many are aimed at kids older than mine, so I will look for those series. Maybe Water will be less messy than this one?