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Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science
6.51 Helen Ross Russell. Ten-Minute Field Trips: A Teacher's Guide to Using the School grounds for Environmental Studies. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: National Science Teachers Association, 1990. 163 pp.
Price: $16.95 (ISBN 0-87355-098-6)
This imaginative book suggests field trips that are short and close-to-school (or home) and hands-on activities that can initiate or enhance classroom learning about the environment. The wide range of engaging investigative experiences—which do not require elaborate equipment or vast knowledge about natural history—involve teachers and children in learning about the world by observing, thinking, and doing. Topics include animals, weather and weather prediction, seasonal changes, building materials, rocks, soil formation, water and its effects, and recycling and natural decomposition. Each general topic is introduced with brief background information. Related introductory (or follow-up) classroom activities and preparations are then presented. Many tips are provided on how to motivate young people to invest time and creative energy in exploring how nature works.
6.52 Wendy Saul and Sybille A. Jagusch, eds. Vital Connections: Children, Science and Books. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1992. 165 pp.
Price: $14.95 (ISBN 0-435-08332-5)
Vital Connections is a collection of 15 papers from a symposium sponsored by the Children's Literature Center of the Library of Congress. The theme of the volume is the role of science trade books in helping children realize the pleasures, potential, and limits of science. Representing the views of authors, editors, reviewers, and specialists in children's literature and science, the papers consider a variety of topics: what role science books should play in the lives of children, how children learn science, when science books should be introduced, who decides what children should know, why some topics are prevalent in science books, how science authors approach their work, and what is entailed in selecting and editing science books. The editors note that the volume offers few definitive answers and promotes no conclusive account of ways to write, evaluate, or use juvenile science literature. Instead, it outlines important issues and offers thoughtful discussion.