Monday, March 28, 2011

Picture Books (Science): Rocks and Minerals (Geology)

In science, we are learning about rocks and minerals.   I have been researching picture book resources to use for teaching this fascinating science topic.  Here are a couple good ones I have found so far:

Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! (ages 3-7) by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 
Buddy loves collecting rocks, so his mother suggests they go on a rock walk at the local Nature Center.  At each stop on the trail, Buddy learns about rocks and minerals.  Rock Stop 1 explains that Earth is a ball of rock.  Next, Stop 2 teaches how rocks are formed—erosion, plant roots, and weather. The most interesting is Rock Stop 3.  A Rock Ridge Ranger shows various rocks as he teaches the three rock types—sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.  Buddy finds a box of rocks at Stop 4.  He sorts them in various ways, such as by design, shape, and texture.  Then, he uses them to create designs and figures.  Finally, at Rock Stop 5, he discovers how rocks and minerals are used as materials in  houses and everyday objects.  Buddy is more enthusiastic than ever after his trip to the Nature Center.  The simple cut-paper artwork contrasts nicely with the photographs of rocks and minerals.   The text and information in Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! is perfect for young children.  The facts are revealed in small segments with Buddy asking questions and responding.  Along the way, he also adds some silly “rock” humor.  Your young geology enthusiast will feel like a “rock” star after reading Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!

Jump into Science: Rocks and MineralsJump Into Science: Rocks & Minerals (ages 5-10) by Steve Tomecek  
This vibrantly illustrated guide through basic geology begins with minerals as the building blocks of all rocks.  Then, the history of rocks is revealed.  Examples of rocks being used as ancient tools (spear point, arrow head, and scraper) as well as in architecture (Egyptian pyramids, Pantheon, Notre Dame Cathedral) are displayed.  The bulk of the books is devoted to how rocks are formed which broken into three ways or types—igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.  Using concise text, colorful pictures, diagrams, and photographs the development of each type is well documented. Also, the rock cycle is diagramed and briefly explained.  Young readers are challenged to think about how the rocks they discover might have been formed and to figure out what minerals are in them.  An experiment in making a rock at home is also included. The author does an outstanding job presenting the material in a concise and engaging manner.  The diagrams and pictures also make this resource first-rate.  Use Jump Into Science: Rocks & Minerals in your study of elementary geology or for leisure reading with your youngsters. 

This week Practically Paradise is hosting Non-Fiction Monday.  Check out what other bloggers are reading. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy Nancy Wallace's books, as simple introductions to topics. They are good example's of how the line between fiction and non-fiction is fluid for little kids. About half the time or more they are in the fiction section of the library, but they are definitely educational.

    Enjoyed your post,


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