Literature Connections to
Liquid Explorations


Teacher's Guides > Liquid Explorations

Several books focus on water—what you can do with it, where it can be found, its properties, its different phases (fog, snow, steam, etc.), the water cycle, and how water is purified so we can drink it.

Other books focus on classification, relating to Activity 1 in which students classify different liquids. There is one book with a section about salad dressings that relates nicely to Activity 5.
Finally, we have included a book in which various liquids (with various attributes) are mixed to create a mysterious liquid potion with magical powers. This and other books with a fantasy twist are great ways to unleash your students’ imaginations as they use their understanding of liquids and liquid properties to weave and follow stories.

About Water
Elliot’s Extraordinary Cookbook

Everybody Needs a Rock
Gorky Rises
Harriet’s Halloween Candy
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks
Mystery Day
Rain Drop Splash
The Snowy Day
Splash! All About Baths
Shoes
Very Last First Time
Water’s Way

Whose Hat Is That?

About Water
by Laurent deBrunhoff
Random House, New York. 1980
Out of print
Grades: Preschool–2
Babar the elephant finds a world of water in this tiny book—water to drink, to bathe in, to boat on, to dive in, to feed a fountain, and even to use as a mirror.
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Elliot’s Extraordinary Cookbook
by Christina Bjork: illustrated by Lena Anderson
R&S Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York. 1990
Grades: 4–7
With the help of his upstairs neighbor, Elliot cooks wonderful food, and investigates what’s healthy and what’s not so healthy. He finds out about proteins, carbohydrates, and the workings of the small intestine. He learns about the history of chickens, how cows produce milk, and how live yeast is used in rye bread. His friend shows him how to grow bean sprouts, and he sews an apron. On page 26 are two recipes for salad dressing that relate to Activity 5.
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Everybody Needs a Rock

by Byrd Baylor; illustrated by Peter Parnall
Aladdin Books, New York. 1974
Grades: K–5
What are the qualities to consider in selecting the perfect rock for play and pleasure? The properties of color, size, shape, texture, and smell are discussed in such an appealing way you’ll want to rush out and find a rock of your own. This book makes a nice introduction or follow-up to a discussion of the properties of solids.
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Gorky Rises
by William Steig
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York. 1980
Grades: 2–5
When Gorky’s parents leave the house, he sets up a laboratory at the kitchen sink and mixes up a liquid mixture with a few secret ingredients, drops of his mother’s perfume, and his father’s cognac! The liquid proves to have magical properties that allow him to fly over the world. Although the format is a picture book, the content makes it usable for older students. Nice connection to the attributes and properties of liquids, with a fantasy twist.
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Harriet’s Halloween Candy
by Nancy Carlson
Puffin/Penguin, New York. 1982
Grades: Preschool–3
Harriet learns the hard way that sharing her Halloween candy makes her feel much better than eating it all herself. In the process, she sorts, classifies, and counts her candy. Fun activity to do at Halloween or with any food items. A good connection to the sorting and classifying game in Activity 1.
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The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks
by Joanna Cole; illustrated by Bruce Degen
Scholastic, New York. 1986
Grades: K–6
Ms. Frizzle, the “strangest teacher in school,” takes her class on a field trip to the waterworks. First, they journey to the clouds where the class rains, each kid inside his own raindrop. Then they end up experiencing the water purification system from the inside, traveling through the mixing basin, settling basin, filter, and through the pipes to emerge from a faucet. Evaporation, the water cycle, and filtration are just a few of the concepts explored in this whimsical fantasy field trip.
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Mystery Day
by Harriet Ziefert; illustrated by Richard Brown
Little, Brown & Co., Boston. 1988
Grades: 1–4
Mystery Day is a school day full of surprises for Mr. Rose’s students. They have to guess the identity of five mystery powders. The students test their guesses with simple experiments as they look at the powders, touch them, taste them, and mix them with various liquids to see what happens. Once they are correctly guessed, several powders are mixed together and the investigation process starts all over again.
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Rain Drop Splash
by Alvin Tresselt; illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, New York. 1946
Mulberry Books/William Morrow, New York. 1990
Grades: K–3
Raindrops fall to make puddles. Puddles become larger and larger to form ponds. Ponds overflow into brooks that lead to lakes. The rainstorm continues, falling on plants and animals, making mud, flooding a road. The last scene leads to the ocean, when at last the rain stops and the sun emerges.
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Shoes
by Elizabeth Winthrop; illustrated by William Joyce
Harper & Row, New York. 1986
Grades: K–2
A survey of the many kinds of shoes in the world concludes that the best of all are the perfect natural shoes that are your feet. Great to read before doing a survey of shoes or sorting and classifying a group of real shoes.
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The Snowy Day
by Ezra Jack Keats
Viking, New York. 1962
Grades: Preschool–2
Peter goes for a walk on a snowy day. He makes different patterns in the snow with his feet, a stick, and then his whole body. He tries to save a snowball in his pocket but is disappointed when it melts. That night Peter dreams that the sun melted all the snow outside, but when he wakes up, it’s snowing again!
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Splash! All About Baths
by Susan K. Buxbaum and Rita G. Gelman; illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Little, Brown & Co., Boston. 1987
Grades: K–6
Before he bathes, Penguin answers his animal friends’ questions about baths. “What shape is water?” “Why do soap and water make you clean?” “What is a bubble?” “Why does the water go up when you get in?” “Why do some things float and others sink?” and other questions. Answers to questions are both clear and simple. Received the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award.
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Very Last First Time
by Jan Andrews; illustrated by Ian Wallace
Atheneum/Macmillan, New York. 1985
Grades: 2–4
This entrancing book tells the story of the Inuit girl Eva who walks for the first time in a sea-floor cavern under the frozen ocean ice. When the tide is out she and her mother come to gather mussels and Eva goes below the ice. When she stumbles, her candle goes out and the tide starts to come in, roaring louder, while the ice shrieks and creaks. Terrified at first, Eva recovers, and eventually finds her way to the surface and her waiting mother and the moonlight. Although the book does not scientifically explain the freezing of the top of the sea or the action of the tides, you and your class may want to discuss these questions: “Why does only the top part of the water freeze?” “Why does the ice stay intact even when the water underneath it goes out with the tide?” The images of Eva on the sea floor beneath the ice are unique and fascinating, enhanced by the eerie purple tones of the illustrations. The descriptive language and Eva’s intense interest in nature exemplify excellent scientific observation skills.
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Water’s Way
by Lisa W. Peters; illustrated by Ted Rand
Arcade Publishing/Little, Brown & Co., New York. 1991
Grades: K–3
“Water has a way of changing” inside and outside Tony’s house, from clouds to steam to fog and other forms. Innovative illustrations show the changes in the weather outside while highlighting water changes inside the house.
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Whose Hat Is That?
by Ron Roy; photographs by Rosemarie Hausherr
Clarion Books/Ticknor and Fields, New York. 1987
Grades: Preschool–3
Text and photographs portray the appearance and function of eighteen types of hats including a top hat, a jockey’s cap, and a football helmet. The children and adults modeling the hats represent a rainbow of peoples. Makes a nice connection to classification activities in Session 1 of the GEMS guide.
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Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.


— Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Ancient Mariner


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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