3.87 Teaching Elementary Science With Toys. CESI Sourcebook VII. Columbus, Ohio: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education; and Washington, D.C.: Council for Elementary Science International (CESI), 1993.
Grades: K-6 Teaching Elementary Science With Toys: CESI Sourcebook VII is a sourcebook of activities and strategies for using toys to teach science concepts and to develop science process skills. Toys are used in these activities and strategies to help students focus on natural phenomena, to provoke imagination, and to promote scientific thinking. Students use toys that fly, roll, bounce, float, store and release energy, and change colors as they explore concepts of motion, force, energy, heat, sound, light, magnetism, and electricity. Some activities concentrate more on concept development and others more on science process. Examples include exploring the concept of vibration using buttons and string, making a rubber ball from natural latex, predicting the results of a game of pin the tail on the donkey, observing the difference in flight distance of a Frisbee and an Aerobie, and classifying toys in a catalog.
Each of the 29 lesson plans in this sourcebook has background information, step-by-step procedures, and ideas for further challenges.
Price: $19. Publisher/supplier: CESI. Materials: Available locally, or from commercial suppliers.
3.88 Towers and Bridges. Science Spirals. Julie Fitzpatrick. Reprinted with revisions. London, England: Evans Brothers, 1991.
Grades: 2, 3 Towers and Bridges is a colorful little book of student-directed activities that emphasizes constructing models that work. Students experience some of the engineering problems to be solved in any construction as they build simple towers and investigate their stability, test the relative strength of two brick walls, investigate various types of supports and beams, and design and build models of arch and suspension bridges. The book provides easy-to-follow instructions, color drawings, and diagrams.
Price: $13.95 (ISBN 0-237-60213-X). Publisher/supplier: Trafalgar Square. Materials: Available locally.
3.89 Water and Ice. Windows on Elementary Science. Joan Westley. Sunnyvale, Calif.: Creative Publications, 1988.
Grades: PreK, K-2 In Water and Ice, children explore mixing, dissolving, absorbing, melting, evaporating, and freezing water. Students compare how sand and salt mix with water; they explore the soaking capacity of materials, construct boats that float, and find ways to keep ice from melting, among the many activities in the guide. The 28 investigations are sequenced by increasing level of difficulty but do not need to be completed in order.
Each 2-page activity in Water and Ice has a summary statement describing the investigation, a list of the skills and necessary materials, and directions on how to set up for instruction. Also included are sections on getting started, guiding children's actions, and stretching their thinking.
Prices: Teacher's Guide (ISBN 088488-708-1), $13.75. Complete kit, $250.00. Publisher/supplier: Creative Publications. Materials: Available locally, from commercial suppliers, or in kit.
3.90 Wheels. Science Spirals. Julie Fitzpatrick. Reprinted with revisions. London, England: Evans Brothers, 1991.
Grades: 1-3 Wheels is a small, colorful activity book for young learners. It takes children through the design process of making models with moving parts and encourages them to find ways to adapt their models. Students discover which shapes slide and which roll. They investigate wheel-and-axle systems; experiment with friction, including ways of increasing or decreasing friction; and explore the movement of pulley wheels and gear wheels. The book provides easy-to-follow instructions, color drawings, and diagrams for these student-directed activities.
Price: $13.95 (ISBN 0-237-60214-8). Publisher/supplier: Trafalgar Square. Materials: Available locally.
3.91 Wizard's Lab. GEMS/Exhibit Guides. Cary Sneider and Alan Gould. Reprinted with revisions. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Hall of Science, 1992.
Grades: K-6+ Wizard's Lab provides 10 interactive exhibits that can be used in a variety of settings—for example, at a science center, at a classroom learning station, in a discovery room, or on family science night. The wide spectrum of stimulating activities in physical science offered in this guide includes the spinning platform, solar cells and light polarizers, resonant pendula, magnets, lenses, the ''human battery," the oscilloscope and sound, and the harmonograph. Most of the exhibits utilize common materials and equipment available from most hardware, electronics, or variety stores and lumberyards. The skills developed include observing, analyzing, and finding patterns.
Wizard's Lab provides background information recorded on cards with cartoon wizard figures that briefly explains the principles behind each exhibit. Detailed and illustrated instructions for constructing each exhibit are included in the teacher's guide.
Price: $20 (ISBN 0-912511-71-0). Publisher/supplier: LHS GEMS. Materials : Available locally, or from commercial suppliers.