Time to share on Wednesdays with Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy.
Thanks Alyson! Tweet - #NFPB15
Today I have a special book to share. The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines, Cool Projects & Activities that make Science Fun - by Kelly Doudna
Thanks to the publisher, I’ve had the pleasure of reading this book before publication, happening August 25th!
I’ve seen students study simple machines in the past, from the youngest to the oldest at my school (K-8), and to support them, I’ve scrambled to find many resources that would help them in a discovery process. There needed to be some explanation, a gathering of materials, and then the fun work of experimenting, trying all sorts of ways to try to learn how each kind of machine works. We did do it, but how I wish I had had this wonderful book by Kelly Doudna to help the students learn!
Kelly introduces the six simple machines with good basic examples in words and pictures first. For example, a young girl pours her breakfast cereal from a container; it’s an inclined plane. And that, along with the other machines’ examples, shows what they REALLY DO. Each one, when used, gives a mechanical advantage, an important first vocabulary term. The introduction also introduces Archimedes, and like a few other background pages throughout the exercises, it shows a picture, the time period in which he lived, some of what he studied, and a famous quote. Early in the book there is also a visual list of all the common household items needed in order to do the experiments. It will be helpful to those preparing to experiment.
|An example of one of the Spotlights mentioned.|
|an activity to learn about pulleys|
|looking at all the machines together|
Each machine is thoroughly introduced, and includes what is termed a “Spotlight” (the first picture) which is a real-life example of one of the machines. For example, an airplane’s propeller is shown and defined as a screw, which is an inclined plane wrapped around a core. And the ferris wheel (picture above) is introduced in the section about the wheel and axle. Each “Spotlight” offers history along with pictured explanations of the example. My favorite explains the pinball machine! The book is filled with clearly explained information and lots of pictures, along with many application activities. It has a few pictures at the back in order to see if you can identify the simple machines in use, and a brief historical piece about Rube Goldberg.
I imagine that not only should a school’s library have one of these books, each classroom will benefit from this terrific resource. It's a book both entertaining and educational!