Nature Studies

The “Look About You” Nature Study Books – II

Here’s another of the “Look About You” nature study series written by Thomas W. Hoare, an English nature study teacher in the early 1900s. These stories follow the activities of an uncle and his nieces and nephews as they explore the countryside and farm and really begin to pay attention to all the wonders of nature surrounding them. Each short chapter ends with some “hands on” experiment or activity for children, related to the topic. These books are exceptionally well done, are great for primary age nature study, and have great illustrations to boot. We highly recommend you check them out!

Today’s book is Volume 3, and topics include: Birds in Winter – Seed-Eaters & Insect-Eaters – Baby Plants – Tadpoles – and Frogs

CLICK HERE

this book is available in HTML format to read online, or it can be downloaded as an epub or kindle ebook!

 

Nature Studies

The “Look About You” Nature Study Books – I

This week, we’re sharing a few volumes from the “Look About You” nature study series written by Thomas W. Hoare, an English nature study teacher in the early 1900s. These stories follow the activities of an uncle and his nieces and nephews as they explore the countryside and farm and really begin to pay attention to all the wonders of nature surrounding them. Each short chapter ends with some “hands on” experiment or activity for children, related to the topic. These books are exceptionally well done, are great for primary age nature study, and have great illustrations to boot. We highly recommend you check them out!

From the series introduction:

This little book should be used as a simple guide to the practical study of Nature rather than as a mere reader.

Every lesson herein set down has, during the author’s many years’ experience in teaching Nature Study, been taught by observation and practice again and again; and each time with satisfactory result. The materials required for the lessons are within everybody’s reach.

There is nothing that appeals to the heart of the ordinary child like living things, be they animal or vegetable, and there is no branch of education at the present day that bears, in the young mind, such excellent fruit as the study of the simple, living things around us.

Your child is nothing if not curious. He wants to understand everything that lives in his bright little world.

Nature Study involves so many ingenious little deductions, that the reasoning powers are almost constantly employed, and intelligence grows proportionately. The child’s powers of observation are stimulated, and his memory is cultivated in the way most pleasing to his inquiring nature. By drawing his specimens, no matter how roughly or rapidly, his eye is trained more thoroughly than any amount of enforced copying of stiff, uninteresting models of prisms, cones, etc., ever could train it.

The love of flowers and animals is one of the most commendable traits in the disposition of the wondering child, and ought to be encouraged above all others. A few lessons on Nature Phenomena are added.

It is the author’s fondest and most sanguine hope that his little pupils may study further the great book of Nature, whose broad pages are ever open to us, and whose silent answers to our manifold questions are never very difficult to read.

Today’s book is Volume 2. Topics include:  Sowing Seeds – the Life of a Plant – Country Walks – Rabbits – Gulls – Spiders – Ants – and Grasshoppers.
CLICK HERE

This book can be viewed and read online, or can be downloaded as kindle or epub ebooks.

Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Classic Picture books, Critical Thinking, Lesson Plans, Living Books, Math, Physics, Science

Using Children’s Literature to Teach Science

Using Children’s Literature to Teach Science by Patricia Bishop McKean (PDF ebook with multiple PDF files)

Patricia Bishop McKean compiled this wonderful ebook that pairs great picture books / young reader books (including such classics as Stellaluna, Follow the Drinking Court, Swimmy, Curious George, Morris’s Disappearing Bag and many more) with hands-on activities that demonstrate basic science concepts to young students. Subjects covered in the activities include earth science, astronomy, math, ecology, physics, chemistry, and process skills. It’s a great approach that makes both the stories AND the science lessons much more memorable.

From her introduction:

Each children’s picture book is linked to a simple, basic science activity. By showing teachers how to “hook” their students by reading a familiar or new story and then doing a related hands-on, minds-on science activity, I have helped teachers feel more comfortable with teaching science.  Sometimes the story comes before the activity, and sometimes it comes after the activity. The activity will stand alone, as will the reading of the story, but if the hook captivates the mind of the student, the memory of the science concept should last in the student’s mind.

About the format:

Each book & accompanying science activity has its own PDF file, so there’s lots of PDFs to download here, making it a little more complicated than just downloading a single PDF file. But it is worth the effort. Check it out and see if you don’t agree. Use the menu on the site to navigate between sections of the collection.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

Astronomy

Hubblesite Interactive Ebooks

Soar through the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope, exploring some of its most significant discoveries – from dark energy to colliding galaxies. Descend to Earth, where Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, readies for the future of astronomy.

Hubblesite has six great interactive ebooks about these telescopes available for free, all of which include image galleries, video, and interactives that bring home the telescopes’ science and engineering — as well as the wonders and mysteries they are revealing throughout our galaxy and beyond.

Click here to go to the download page!

Uncategorized

5 Minute Lesson Plans

EducationWorld has a great section of their website called “5 Minute Lesson Plans” – and that’s exactly what they are. Dozens and dozens of short, creative lessons in math, english, spelling, critical thinking, puzzles, measurement skills, and much more. Many of these include hands-on activities. This is a great page to bookmark and refer back to whenever you want to do some short activities to introduce new concepts, or review and reinforce your current studies.

Click here to go to the site!

Math

Master Math

MasterMath.info has 135 middle school math lessons available for 6th, 7th and 8th grade math plus Algebra 1.  Each lesson includes a 12 – 20 minute video lesson, a worksheet, an answer sheet, a self-grading quiz showing corrections for missed problems, and a link to another web-resource that will help the student “master” the concept. All of this is free-of-charge, and they have a paid option for one-on-one online tutoring if your students need it.

Click here to go to the site!

Arts & Crafts, Physics, Science

Dragonfly Helicopters & other Science Toys

SCIENCE TOY MAKER: Mysterious, Kinetic, Noisy, Do-It-Yourself Science Projects that Entice Scientific Investigation

We featured this site in years past, but it just keeps getting better and better as they add dozens more way cool science toys,  gadgets and gizmos (both easy & advanced)  that you can make at home to demonstrate all sorts of scientific principles. (We especially like the “dolphin ring” video and project!) Bookmark this site and refer to it whenever you want a hands-on toy building project that has scientific value & your kids will love to play with!

Click here to go to the site!

Biology

The Human Heart

Did you know that the human heart beats about 100,000 times a day, 35 million times a year, and two and a half billion times in an average lifetime?

Did you know that, on any given day, your heart beats roughly 100,000 times and your blood travels about 12,000 miles as it circulates throughout your body?

Did you know the average heart pumps more that a gallon of blood a minute?

Did you know a kid’s heart is about the size of a fist… and an adult’s heart is the size of two fists?

Today we’re sharing this great collection of links from “Education World” all about the human heart. You’ll learn how the heart works, take an interactive tour of the heart, learn about the heart’s electrical system, blood flow and blood supply, see some amazing videos, and much more.

Click here then follow the links!

Audio, Living Books

The Long Winter

“The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder (MP3 audio dramatization)

Every couple of years we bring back this fine audio dramatization of one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s best “Little House” books, “The Long Winter”. This Ingalls family is quite different than the one you saw on TV, but it is a very faithful adaptation of the book, and is quite entertaining. It is the one and ONLY “old time radio” adaptation of any of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, and if you love those stories, you’ll treasure this half hour audio dramatization. We’ve also included a PDF “Listening Guide” to accompany this program.

To download this MP3 audio program, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your pc. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

To download the PDF Listening Guide for this program, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your pc. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

Audio, History

The True Story of Typhoid Mary

Mary Mallon, a cook for several well-to-do families, seemed a healthy woman when a health inspector knocked on her door in 1907, yet she was in actuality the cause of several deadly typhoid outbreaks – and before long, she would become known as the infamous “Typhoid Mary”. (Did you notice the “eggs” she is cooking in this vintage illustration?)

Ready to listen to one of the most astounding stories in early 20th century American history? John Nesbitt, in these two episodes of his classic old time radio program, “The Passing Parade”, examines the amazing true story of Mary Mallon, aka “Typhoid Mary”. These two 10 minute mp3 audio programs are great (and somewhat scary) “living history” that your kids – especially older ones – will really enjoy.

To listen to Part One, click here.

To listen to Part Two, click here.

You can also read more about Typhoid Mary here.