Reviewed by Rebecca Bell
Environmental Education Specialist
This third volume in author Richard Konicek-Moran’s award-winning series presents 15 more popular mysteries for K–8 students to investigate. The author uses everyday observations and experiences to teach science principles. Students will love playing Sherlock Holmes as they work their way through these mysteries with you.
A short, open-ended story sets the stage for inquiry. The stories present opportunities for students to ask questions, form hypotheses, and test their ideas using everyday equipment. The "Don't Be Surprised" section helps teachers anticipate student questions and misconceptions, and a content background helps them prepare answers. Teaching suggestions, a list of related science concepts, detailed procedures and materials for activities, and ties to the National Science Education Standards are helpful in planning an interdisciplinary unit revolving around each story.
This third volume presents exercises from the Earth, life, and physical sciences. Topics include evaporation, seeds, rust, erosion, heart rate, pressure, and density. The activities help students distinguish between difficult concepts such as heat and temperature. There are also many common laboratory experiences (such as seed germination) that can provide natural follow-ups to the shared experience of reading and analyzing these mysteries. Like the two volumes before, this book is destined to be very popular with teachers from middle elementary to secondary school, because of the authentic text and clear links to the content being taught.
Review posted on 4/20/2010