Reviews for Backyard Science

Booklist Reviews 2005 September #1
Gr. 3-5. Whether the project is making a sundial, finding spirals in plants, mollusks, and the Milky Way, calculating the Fibonacci sequence, or observing ants on a log, the thrill of discovering science in daily life will draw children to this illustrated, hands-on guide, which moves from the small things in the backyard to the sweep of biology, chemistry, and even some physics. The clear, attractive design is accessible without being condescending, and the generous double-page spreads include captioned color photos of kids doing the experiments, occasional comic cartoons, and boxed information. Each project is broken down into procedure and results. Several experiments center on ecology, including information on how to be friendly to the environment and protect biodiversity. Although this is probably more than most kids will want to tackle on their own, it's a great source for group projects. A useful note to parents and teachers, as well as warnings about safety round out the text. ((Reviewed September 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
This unorganized collection of observations, experiments, and crafts focuses on learning about the plants and animals in a typical backyard. The activities vary in quality and are undermined by the answers provided in the "What Happened" section of each experiment. The book is enlivened by factual asides, cartoon illustrations, and photographs of children and the objects of study. Glos., ind. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 November

Gr 1-5 -Seeing backyards as laboratories will enliven the teaching of science, enhance parent-child interaction, and awaken curiosity about the natural world. This book has the potential to do all that and more. The authors encourage children to use their senses to learn as much as possible about the outdoors. Projects include building a home for ladybugs, making bird nests and looking closely at those that might be found (with warnings not to disturb them), and identifying footprints. The attractive layout includes full-color photos and drawings. The text clearly outlines what is needed for each experiment, and the concise explanations will satisfy budding scientists. Students could easily follow the instructions to listen to sounds the worms make after getting them to the surface in a "worm roundup." Make sure your science teachers know about this one.-Myrna Livesay, Carter's Valley Elementary School, Church Hill, TN

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