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Good literature selections to tie in with earth science?


sweetpea3829

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Planning, planning, planning!

 

Our earth science curriculum this year will be focusing on geology, biomes, and an introductory focus on matter and early chemistry.

 

Any good lit choices you can think of?

 

I already have Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter on my list (but am not sure it will be appropriate for our kids' ages).

 

And of course, Journey to the Center of the Earth.

 

Any others?

 

We'll be doing meteorology and astronomy next year, after a review of oceanography, so feel free to suggest other titles for those subjects!

 

The kids are 9 and 10. But if we do an audio book, the younger two will listen in.

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Itch was really good.  My kids were 8 and 11 when we read it.  The 8yo liked it, but the 11yo went on to read the sequel on his own.  He loved it!

 

We were doing chemistry earlier this year and I found a few other books, but after I previewed, they were too old for my kids.  Napoleon's Buttons or something like that, and I can't remember the other book.

 

For earth science, I'll be following this thread because we'll be doing that next year.  Maybe Along Came Galileo??  Starry Messenger I *think* is a board book, but may be good. I haven't looked at it.  Also, I know Guesthollow has a "weather" unit.  She covers volcanos, magnetic poles, oceans, etc., so you could browse her site to see if she has something that would interest them. 

 

 

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Did you have any issues with Itch? Anything questionable? I know that's subjective, but in general, lol.

 

I wonder if Sonlight has any suggestions?

 

I don't remember anything.  Some people are sensitive to themes like lying and such and he does lie to his parents and does things he shouldn't, but I don't remember bad language, etc.  If there was any, it was minimal enough that I forgot about it!

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Also following and doing Earth/Geology/Astronomy/Oceanography next year.  I had asked Jen over at Guest Hollow if she had anything new planned, hoping she had an earth science, because we've loved her Knowledge of Nature (chem and physics) this year!  

 

Hoping its okay to tag along as I'm planning too!  I've been looking at the Science in a Nutshell kits at Delta Education site.  Also planning to see if the free McGgraw Hill interactive text will work (http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/472872-mcgraw-hill-science-textbook-workbook-lab-book-free-grade-1-6/ is the thread with links to it.  Earth Science is 6th grade).

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Here is what I did with mine many yrs. ago at that age from what I can remember:

 

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth

Wise Guy Life Philosophy of Socrates

Archimedes and the Door of Science

The Storybook of Science - Fabre (We have liked most of his books!)

Quark Chronicles look good but she doesn't have Geology and Astronomy out yet, but maybe by the fall?  :)

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Wanted to share some book lists I have recently come across on a similar search: http://sabbathmoodhomeschool.com/charlotte-mason-living-science/geology-water-environment-books/

 

She also has book topics on other areas.

 

My 7yo read "How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World" today and was fascinated (I haven't had a chance to read it, myself). 

 

I've also put some of the recommendations on the Earth & Space curriculum put out by Elemental Science on hold at the library to preview. Maybe some of their book list would be of interest. 

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I'm going to maybe ILL this title: "Intermediate Science  Through Children's Literature" by Butzow. You can check out the TOC and a little preview on Amazon. It uses a read-aloud (or I suppose, a read-alone) and has unit study activities along with, from what I gather. Doesn't seem to be ultra science-heavy, but might have some interesting ideas within

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  • 6 months later...

We tried Journey to the Center of the Earth last year at 11 and 12 and it was way too much for them, and both my boys read several grades ahead.  We didn't finish it.  The vocabulary, oh my!    And just that it takes so long for every little thing.   I don't know how you feel about Magic Treehouse books (my son loved them at your children's age).  They have one on Pompeii (Vacation Under the Volcano) that is a short fun read.

 

For Biomes I think some of the literature from an animal's point of view might be good, such as Watership Down, Bambi and Bambi's children (don't let the Disney version turn you off to these...these are deep, beautiful, classic books).  Jungle Book also.  I would look to poetry for that too (so much I wouldn't know where to start). I know you were asking for literature, but do you mind if I suggest some non-fiction books.  The "One Small Square" books by Donald Silver are just beautiful books on different biomes (mostly...he also has a night sky book in the series, I believe).  Arctic, African Savanna, Jungle, Swamp, etc.  Gorgeous illustrations and science experiments built into the book, and the writing is just beautiful too!

 

The Quark Chronicles Zoology (a fiction book designed to teach science put out by Ragamuffin Press...would overlap with biomes and oceanography).

 

For oceanography I'd suggest "Magic Treehouse: Dolphins Before Dawn."    Are you  wanting to also connect ships, seafaring and nautical concepts?   I grew up on a boat, and the descriptions of life on a ship in Green Dolphin Country (sometimes found under the name Green Dolphin Street) really brought me right back to my childhood (even though this was much further in the past).  I'm going to be honest and say I only got a fourth of the way into the book though because the main character annoyed me.  But the writing is beautiful, and the plot is interesting and might appeal to kids that age (I'd say middle school, but you could try a little younger)..  

 

Two Years Before the Mast is a classic book that I had to read before doing a Girl Scout Camp on board a replica of an old 18th/19th century sailing ship.  I don't remember liking it though--and sort of skimmed it because I ran short on time.   But it is for that age group and some of the other girls liked it.

  I have a couple non-fiction books to suggest too related to ships and seafaring.   I just did a unit teaching my kids about the physics of boats.  "What Makes a Boat Float" by Scott Corbett is old and black and white but WONDERFUL.  Just explains things so simply about the physics of buoyancy and stability...things I was banging my head against a wall trying to understand myself (though I know intuitively how they work, but didn't know the why behind them). 
Also "Nav­i­ga­tion: a 3-di­men­sion­al ­ex­plo­ration" by Anne Blan­chard.  The pop ups in this book are not just to make things fun...they actually teach in a way that would be hard to do otherwise (like the pop up sextant actually WORKS). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ocean poetry suggestions to go with oceanography.... (some faves collected a while ago...both classic poems and poetry I got permission to post by modern contemporary, mostly little known poets.  There's a couple in there that are sort of suggestive, so preview before handing off to children).

 

 

http://www.windhavenweb.com/poetry/fp-aug02.html

http://www.windhavenweb.com/poetry/fp-jul01.html

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When you say "literature" -- did you mean fiction and classics? (which is what I tend to think of --"Literature" as the classics, plays, poetry, and fiction read for a middle school or high school English class) Or did you you mean good quality non-fiction? Or did you mean both? I'm guessing you mean both, as the works in your original post  were a classic fiction work, and a non-fiction work, but just wanted to clarify before going crazy for you in the wrong direction. :)

 

re: Jules Verne, unless you're doing the Great Classic Illustrated versions, Verne might be a bit thick for the age of your DC. Twenty One Balloons (DuBois) has a 19th century setting with a sort-of Jules Verne feel, and involves inventions with electricity and an island with a live volcano, so it might be a better fit. Just a thought!

 

For island Biome, Nim's Island is fun. Also has a live volcano.

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For the biomes, how about the Jean Craighead George (she's best known for Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain) One Day in series. There are five of them. Here's one to get you started. I think they're OOP, but easily found. The reading level is a little easier than My Side of the Mountain and they're short, so you could knock them out pretty fast or assign them as independent reads. But even though they're on the easy end, they're kind of secret gems.

 

https://www.amazon.com/One-Day-Desert-Craighead-George/dp/B000MBW57S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472527114&sr=8-1&keywords=jean+craighead+george+one+day

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I feel like there must be something... I was thinking about how much we enjoyed Stowaway a few years ago as a read aloud. Not a super direct link, but there's a lot about the ocean and navigation and also about the coral reef as they get to Australia. It's a great adventure story:

https://www.amazon.com/Stowaway-Karen-Hesse/dp/0689839898/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472527387&sr=8-1&keywords=stowaway

 

Or Calpurnia Tate... it's often touted as being about evolution, which it is, but it's also really about nature and biomes and exploring your own environment.

 

 

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I second My Side of the Mountain for biomes....great book, perfect for their age.  I loved it as a kid.  I followed it up by buying a book, with my own money, on tracking animals and surviving in the wild...had that much affect on me!

 

 

For the biomes, how about the Jean Craighead George (she's best known for Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain) One Day in series. There are five of them. Here's one to get you started. I think they're OOP, but easily found. The reading level is a little easier than My Side of the Mountain and they're short, so you could knock them out pretty fast or assign them as independent reads. But even though they're on the easy end, they're kind of secret gems.

 

https://www.amazon.com/One-Day-Desert-Craighead-George/dp/B000MBW57S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472527114&sr=8-1&keywords=jean+craighead+george+one+day

 

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Excuse me if I'm repeating anything because I only briefly scanned the first couple of replies:

 

Journey To The Centre Of The Earth {loaded with geology; contains evolutionary content if you're opposed..}

It Couldn't Just Happen {obviously Christian if you're opposed}

Wind In The Willows {seasons, river, etc.}

The Secret Garden {gardening & the life it restores, discusses how to tell if plants are alive or not, I suppose more botany, but anyway..}

 

One Small Square Books {not lit} have ones for all sorts of biomes

Jean CraigHead George has also written a few books about various biomes which might work, titles like: One Day In The Woods, One Day In The Rainforest, etc.
My Side Of The Mountain would be fantastic with earth science. {same author as above}

 

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I'm also looking for books in this theme but just dropped in to recommend "Journey to the River Sea". It's about a young girl and her adventure to the Amazon. So far we are really enjoying it. It also has a ton of great reviews on goodreads.

 

 

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