Literature Connections to
Sifting Through Science

Teacher's Guides > Sifting Through Science

Aunt Ippy’s Museum of Junk
The Great Trash Bash
Mickey’s Magnet
My New Sandbox
Splash!: All About Baths
The Tub People
The Wartville Wizard
Who Sank the Boat?

Aunt Ippy’s Museum of Junk
by Rodney A. Greenblat
HarperCollins, New York. 1991
Grades: Preschool–2
Realizing the importance of reuse, Aunt Ippy never throws anything away. She uses things over and over. Much of her stuff is in her museum—a grand showcase of reuse. The colorful illustrations capture the funny and innovative way Aunt Ippy reuses things.

The Great Trash Bash
by Loreen Leedy
Holiday House, New York. 1991
Grades: Preschool–3
After noticing their town has too much trash and no good way to dispose of it, the animals of Beaston decide to make changes in their everyday life to reduce the amount of trash they make. Full of good ideas, this book is a wonderful extension to Activity 4.

Mickey’s Magnet
by Franklyn M. Branley and Eleanor K. Vaughan; illustrated by Crockett Johnson
Thomas Y. Crowell, New York. 1956
Grades: Preschool–2
This is the simple story about the magnet discoveries made by a young boy named Mickey. Although old, it’s a classic that may be available in many school or city libraries. Best if read to (or by) the class after they do Activity 2, since it includes some scientific conclusions about magnets that are best introduced after hands-on exploration.

My New Sandbox
by Donna Jakob; illustrated by Julia Gorton
Hyperion Books for Children, New York. 1996
Grades: Preschool–K
A young boy learns that his new sandbox is bigger than he thought, big enough to share with some animal friends and playmates. The boy sees that playing with friends—even when it involves sharing something new and special—is better than playing alone.

Splash!: All About Baths
by Susan Kovacs Buxbaum and Rita Golden Gelman; illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Little, Brown, Boston. 1987
Grades: K–4
Before he bathes, Penguin answers his animal friends’ many questions about baths, including "Why does the water go up when you get in?" and "Why do some things float and others sink?" Answers to questions are clear and simple. The illustrations opposite the "Why do some soaps float?" page show floaters being turned into sinkers (and vice versa), as students are challenged to do in "Going Further" #1 of Activity 1.

The Tub People
by Pam Conrad; illustrated by Richard Egielski
Harper & Row, New York. 1989
Grades: Preschool–3
Told entirely from their perspective, this is the endearing tale of a family of wooden toys who float and play in a bathtub. The reader becomes emotionally connected to the family, especially when tragedy befalls them. Relief and a sense of well-being come at the end of the book. In addition to connecting to the guide as a "float/sink" book, The Tub People could also be considered a "sifting" book given that the child slips through the grating of the drain but the adults don’t.

The Wartville Wizard
by Don Madden
Macmillan, New York. 1986
Grades: K–4
A neat and tidy old man earns the title of Wizard when he sends litter back to the people who drop it. Humorous illustrations show the people of Wartville adorned with stick-on trash and wearing bizarre outfits that attempt to hide the trash. This book reminds us that when we’re done with something, throwing it away doesn’t make it disappear—it must be disposed of properly. The book carries a great message about being responsible for one’s own garbage, but does not discuss sorting or recycling.

Who Sank the Boat?
by Pamela Allen
Sandcastle Books/Putnam & Grosset, New York. 1990
Grades: K–2
The reader is invited to guess who causes the boat to sink when five animal friends of varying sizes go for a row. This humorous story—written in rhyme and sporting delightful illustrations—explores the ideas of maximum point (or threshold) and balance. In a "Going Further" for Activity 1 when students are invited to turn a floater into a sinker, threshold and balance could be explored through simple experiments. Teachers who wish to extend the lessons of Sifting Through Science to include displacement will be interested in another book by Pamela Allen entitled Mr. Archimedes’ Bath.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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