Three For One! Germs, Diseases, and Gross Little Creatures

October 12, 2011

Scroll down for NF Monday.

I’m happy to be hosting Nonfiction Monday. Welcome, everyone. Please post your link in the comment section and I’ll update them throughout the day.

Micro Mania

A Really Close-Up Look at Bacteria, Bedbugs, and the Zillions of Other Gross Little Creatures that Live In, On, and All Around You!

By Jordan D. Brown

Imagine Publishing, 2009; reprint, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1936140473

Ages 9-12


Which leads to:

Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence

By Richard Platt

Illustrated by John Kelly

Kingfisher, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0753466872

Ages 9-12


And then we go on to my take on the topic:

Infections, Infestations, and Diseases

By Shirley Duke

Rourke, 2011

Ages 9-12



Take a closer look at all three books.


“Try not to panic, but there are billions of tiny creatures crawling all over your skin. They are wriggling on your legs, your arms, your nec, your scalp… EVERYWHERE!”

Micro Mania covers the world of bacteria, pests such as fleas and ticks, food pests like ants, roaches, beetles, and moths, along with kitchen bacteria and where they all live and reproduce. Then the information moves to the bedroom and bathroom, with dust mites, bed bugs, and algae. Plankton, krill, and thermophiles round out the mix of these mini creatures that live with us. The book reveals the amazing characteristics of these organisms and presents the information in a medium gross way that should appeal to this age.


Look up information about the life cycle of a flea. Then read about the Bubonic Plague. Write a paragraph explaining what part fleas played in the plague’s transmission.

Read about the flea life cycle here.

Here’s some basic bubonic plague information.


“Do you dare step inside the Pox Lab? In here, we study the history of the world’s most horrible diseases.”

Plagues, Pox, and Pestilence takes the reader deep into the story of diseases in this fascinating book. It includes the story of great epidemics, the people who made history in germs and disease prevention, and how science has provided the technology to fight these invaders today. The final chapter talks about the future of poxes and plagues.

The type adds to the fun of reading this book. It contains a thorough glossary of poxy words and an index. Bright, cartoonish characters add to the action and narration. This is another books kids should love.


Develop a timeline of scientific discoveries using the information from the book.

Here’s a comprehensive example, but it would need to be narrowed to the examples used in the book.



“Where’s the Kleenex?”

“I don’t feel well.”

How many times has a teacher moved back or a mom has hurried to get the thermometer? Or you’ve checked for nits, worried over vaccines, or stayed up most of the night with a sick child? This book is a starting point for kids interested in what makes you sick or those who are curious about the world and themselves.

The first three chapters address the meaning of the title, covering health and illness, infestations, and then diseases. The next chapter continues with how they are spread, prevention and treatment, and eliminated and emerging diseases. The book addresses current topics like bed bugs, HIV, and the H1N1 flu virus. It has a table of contents, glossary, index, and suggested websites to visit.

Health is important to everyone, and eager young scientists and kids alike should enjoy the fascinating facts in the book. Each book in the series has straightforward science and facts presented in an interesting way to readers. I’m writing three new books for Rourke in the coming year. I can’t wait to blog on them, too!

Activity 1

Research how to wash hands properly. Create a poster to display the correct techniques and practice singing happy birthday two times to show children how long they should spend scrubbing them.

The CDC has a child-friendly set of directions.

The Mayo clinic has additional information about dos and don’ts for hand washing.

Activity 2 (for older kids)

Look at the comparisons of hands that have been washed or cleaned in various ways. Draw a conclusion about the most sanitary means of cleaning hands and write a paragraph about how to properly wash hands to remove bacteria.

You can find good information and pictures here.

Here you’ll find more interesting bacteria and hands information.

National Science Standards: biodiversity and humans; growth and development of organisms

Books provided by the individual publishers.

Nonfiction Monday

Take a look at the great entries for today!

GatheringBooks has Reflections on BOY: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl.

Shelf-employed has The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.

Ana’s Nonfiction Blog has Don’t Let the Barber Pull Your Teeth. She says t’s a fun read about medieval medicine, with lovely illustrations.

Jennifer at Jean Little Library has Everything Sharks for her “Read Scary” month.

Wild About Nature interviews nonfiction writer Phyllis Perry.

Amanda at A Patchwork of Books has Just a Second by Steve Jenkins.

Roberta at Growing With Science reviews Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy, a  Cybils nominee and National Book Award finalist.

Jeff at  NC Teacher Stuff has a review of Voices of World War II: Stories from the Front.

Abby the Librarian has a review of Bootleg by Karen Blumenthal.

Tammy at Apples With Many Seeds has Brave Deeds by Ann Alma.

All About the Books with Janet Squires has Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures  by George Sullivan.

Jone at Check it Out has Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman.

Heidi at Geo Librarian highlights three great books for introducing global studies or just for fun.

Anastasia at Picture Book of the Day has Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi (Adapter, Illustrator) and Q. L. Pearce (Adapter).

Lynn at Bookends reviews a fun book called A Monster Cookbook by Sarah Schuette that is perfect for Halloween feasts. Take a look–Halloween will be here soon!

 Diane at Practically Paradise  examine ZOMBIES  with a new series from Capstone Press.

Brenda at proseandkahn has Big Wig: a Little History of Hair by Kathleen Krull.

Healthy Habits

September 6, 2011

It’s Nonfiction Monday at Wrapped in Foil. Visit there to see all the other gems from the Internet.

Healthy Habits

By Rebecca Weber

Health and Your Body Series

Capstone/Pebble Plus

ISBN # 9781429666114


Grades PreK-2

“Our bodies need things every day to stay healthy. The right food, enough sleep, and exercise are all important. How can you be healthy today?”

Healthy Habits, a book for early readers, sets a positive, cheerful tone while explaining in simple language the basics of good health. The first section gives general suggestions for maintaining healthy habits without coming off as preachy. It addresses food, hygiene, teeth, exercise in the form of play, drinking water, healthy snacks, and the value of sleep. The book ends with a few interesting, general facts, and includes a glossary, read more section, internet sites, and an index.

This information is important to the preschool ages and young children in the early grades. The information seems like it should be common knowledge, but many children don’t know or can’t articulate these facts, and this book provides the information on a level they can understand and learn. The bold, bright photographs of kids having fun doing the suggested activities supports the text and gives context clues to early readers.

This book would make a wonderful introduction to good health and habits for children in the first few weeks of school and a valuable reminder throughout the year. It would be useful for a health unit and a good introduction to all forms of hygiene, an important part of the early grades with its sneezing, colds, and close contact among the children. The readability of the text can empower the students and get the message across as they read the words themselves. And best of all, it’s a fun book.


Using words or pictures, have each student make a healthy habits chart. Put the chapter titles across the top and the days of the week down the side. Each day as you journal or have a warm-up activity, ask the students to put a symbol (or checkmark) in each column that they have done. Keep it private, but use the chart to make the children more aware of healthy habits. You may want to include other actions the kids think of.

This site has charts about healthy habits.

Here are some sample lessons relating to healthy habits.

This site has additional educator tips for  healthy habits.

This site has worksheets relating to staying healthy.

National Science Standards: Growth and development of organisms.

Book provided by Capstone Press.

I Know Someone with Diabetes

February 22, 2011

I Know Someone with Diabetes

By Vic Parker

Understanding Health Issues

Heinemann Library, 2011

ISBN #9781-4329-4557-2


Grades 1-3

“You might have a friend with diabetes mellitus, of just called ‘diabetes.’ Diabetes is a medical condition. This means that a doctor must tell your friend things to do to stay healthy.

This book caught my eye because my father had diabetes in a time when it was more difficult to control. I grew up seeing him take insulin injections daily and observed the results of what the disease can do if it isn’t controlled. It’s in a series that explains health problems to children. The other book in the series that I read is I Know Someone with Cancer.

This book introduces children to the medical condition diabetes, describes how it affects people, and discusses what they can do to be a friend to someone with the medical condition. It explains insulin and how it changes the sugars in food to energy in their bodies, continuing to tell how diabetics don’t have the insulin necessary to do this. The book tells what isn’t known about diabetes, and explains the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

In a matter of fact narration, information about controlling diabetes is well explained. Photos clearly show the effects of “going low,” or having too little blood sugar for energy. It continues on to explain why they need something sweet when sugar is ordinarily a thing to avoid. The book ends with tips about what friends can do when a diabetic is your friend. The final spread features famous people with diabetes.

The book has a facts and fiction page, glossary, find out more book list, websites, and an index. Straightforward and simple, it shows diabetics living a normal life among friends. That’s what is important.

Activity 1

Look over the healthy eating information from the National Diabetes Education Program site. Discuss the importance of eating well for everyone. Use their guidelines to create healthy meals for three days, including snacks.

Learn more about healthy eating here.

Take a look at the changes in portion sizes at this site and take the quiz.

Activity 2

Make a food groups chart and draw examples of healthy foods in their groups.

National Science Standard: develop an understanding of personal health

Book provided by publisher.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 113 other followers