Thursday, May 14, 2020

Two STEM titles from a middle school teacher that use real-world scenarios to make scientific inquiry relatable: THE ACADIA FILES SPRING and GEOMETRY IS AS EASY AS PIE

The Acadia Files: Book Four, Spring Science by Katie Coppens and illustrated by Holly Hatam (Tilbury House Publishers; 3/2020; Hardcover $13.95; ISBN: 978-0884486107; Grades 3-7; 88 pages) 

My thoughts:  This is a delightful series of books for inquisitive readers. My granddaughter simply loves the earlier books in the series and I know she will love this Spring Science book as well.

Acadia is an inquisitive child that simply absorbs information and turns it around in her mind to comprehend what she is learning. As each of the chapters closes, Acadia has experiments and conclusions of her own. She records her thoughts and how she derives the conclusions. Then she poses a question or so that presents "What if's?" to contemplate.

The Signs of Spring chapter is beautifully written and illustrated. Acadia tells her friends about triggers for the Spring awakening of flowers, trees, frogs. And then the chapter on Ticks is informative presenting what ticks are, how to find and identify them, and the danger they present to people.

The dangers of DDT are also covered in a different chapter and this provides information on how to care for our planet and the dangers that toxic chemicals are to the environment and to people.

A must have series for homes with precocious readers.

About the book: There are five stories of spring, each one followed by Acadia’s science notebook pages with her simple explanations and lively, whimsical drawings of natural phenomena by New York Times bestseller Hatam. The Acadia Files is a fun introduction to the wonders of science, using real-world scenarios to make scientific inquiry relatable and understandable. Parents and educators can use The Acadia Files to let kids discover for themselves what it’s like to be curious about the world and to satisfy that curiosity with scientific thinking.

Acadia Greene has done science in summer, autumn, and winter. In the fourth and final book of this series, she carries her search for answers into the spring, investigating meteors and mass extinctions; germination and pollinators; parasites, ticks, and Lyme disease; and pesticides and malaria. Finally, looking back through her notebooks, she puts together her scientific inquiries from all four seasons into a holistic understanding of the natural world. Acadia is curious, determined, bold, and bright―a wonderful STEM ambassador!

Geometry is as Easy as Pie (Tumblehome; 3/2020; Hardcover $17.95; ISBN: 978-1943431526; Grades 3-6; 40 pages) 

My thoughts:  This is an absolutely perfect introduction to geometry for the middle school student or precocious younger student. Readers will step into the kitchen and learn with real hands on experience how geometry is real in the real world and not just lines and equations on a sheet of paper.

Slowly, with clear and understandable terminology, the child will discover how making a pie has more than fruit, sugar, and flour to appeal to one's senses. How the beauty of presentation and construction of the pie is geometric.

I am simply awed that the author has so aptly presented this oft difficult concept and applied it in such a way that students won't ever see the world in the same way. They will mentally catalog the veggies on their plate. They will view the table laden with pie, cake, and other goodies in the world of polygons, triangles - acute and obtuse, and open and closed circles.

This is a must get book for homes with bright and inquiring minds to place on their home libraries shelves. In fact, it can easily pass as a recipe book since recipes using geometric discoveries are also included so the student can apply and discover these concepts.

About the book: With scrumptious-looking photos, easy recipes, and a variety of pies to bake or just ogle, this book provides a fun and memorable approach to thinking and learning about circles, polygons, angles, parallel and perpendicular lines, tessellation, symmetry, area, volume, and more. This book will leave the reader with a taste for geometry!

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of each book to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

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