200th Post! The Earth and the Role of Water

August 29, 2012

Help me celebrate my 200th post since I began blogging in December, 2008. Thank you to all the faithful readers–I appreciate your interest in my blog. I’m celebrating with one of my latest books–isn’t it a beautiful cover!

The Earth and the Role of Water

by Shirley Duke

Rourke Educational Media, 2013 (available now)

ISBN #9781618101266

Grades 4-6


“Water from the Niagara River plunges 75 feet (23 meters) to form the second largest waterfall in the world, Niagara Falls. The river is fed by four of the five Great Lakes. The lakes were carved by Ice Age glaciers and hold nearly one-fifth of all the Earth’s freshwater.”

This is one of my latest books from Rourke! It was so exciting to write and covers everything water-related on our planet. We take water for granted in the U.S., but many people struggle daily to get enough water for their needs. This book addresses water from every side and I loved researching and writing it.

The Earth and the Role of Water tells about the water cycle, the force of water, the water supply, and problems related to water, including pollution, lack of, and our effects on the water supply. The states of water as a solid, liquid, or gas, as well as the relationship between living organisms and water is explained.

Salt and fresh water, groundwater, and the power of water make up later chapters.  Dams, generators, and hydropower are discussed and clear diagrams and photographs clearly illustrate and support the text. The final chapters focus on weather and water and conserving and protecting our supply of fresh water for the world.

The book has a table of contents, a glossary, suggested websites, and index. I also wrote the captions! The book would be an excellent introduction to the water cycle, erosion, a study of conservation, a look at the states of matter, or city water purification.

The following sites will give you more information about water.




Activity 1

Research severe storms,  hurricanes, floods, drought, or tsunamis. Write and explain the role of water in these kinds of weather and explain how they affect people in their paths.

Activity 2

Develop an experiment to demonstrate water’s three states of matter. Use the scientific method to guide your experiment.  This site will help you understand the scientific method. Carry out your experiment and write it like a scientist. If you need to use heat, get an adult to help you.

Here’s a form to guide you as you create your experiment.

National Science Standards: roles of water in Earth’s surface processes; weather and climate; Earth’s materials and systems; human impacts on Earth’s systems

Book provided by publisher

Our Earth

March 21, 2012

Our Earth

By Joanne Mattern

Capstone Press, 2011

Fact Finders Series

ISBN #9781429653954

Grades 3-6


“We all call Earth home. Of all the planets and other bodies in the solar system, Earth is the only place that supports life. That makes our planet one of a kind!”

Our Earth introduces the planet we know so well in its place within our solar system. It continues with the formation of the solar system and the reasons Earth can support life. This first section explains orbit, axis, rotation, and revolution, and then begins to explore inner Earth.

The remaining chapters of the book fill in information about the land, the oceans, the atmosphere, and the biomes on Earth. The final chapter addresses photosynthesis, weather, and the water cycle, all parts of the processes that allow life to thrive here.

Our Earth is an excellent survey of our planet and a great introduction to each of these individual processes that take place. Photographs and diagrams add information and highlighted vocabulary is defined at the bottom of the page where it was introduced. The text is reader-friendly and the book has an appealing layout that shows the information well. Fun facts are sprinkled on some of the pages. Back matter includes a glossary, a read more section, Internet sites, and an index. Joanne Mattern does an excellent job with science subjects and it’s a fun book to read. The book hits on a number of science concepts—all in one book. In all its complexities, who can get tired of reading about the Earth and its amazing processes?

Activity 1

Choose a topic from the book and find out more about that subject. You might want to investigate plate tectonics, the water cycle, the carbon cycle (not in book but interesting!), Earth’s atmosphere, the moon, the Sun, or photosynthesis. Make your own poster or display to share the information you learned.

These links will get you started:  tides, plate tectonics, water cycle, carbon cycle, Earth’s atmosphere, photosynthesis, moon, Sun

Activity 2

Choose another planet. Then look up information about that planet and create a chart or Venn diagram to compare and contrast the Earth and that planet. This activity could be done as a group project, too.

NASA’s site has planet information. Click on the planet and then go down to the read more tab.

National Science Standards: Earth and the solar system; Earth Materials and Systems; Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions;  The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes; Weather and Climate

Book provided by Capstone

A Raindrop’s Journey

May 4, 2011

A Raindrop’s Journey

By Suzanne Slade

Illustrated by Holli Conger

Capstone’s Follow it! Series

Picture Window Books, 2011

ISBN:  9781404862661

Nonfiction picture book

Grades 1-3

 A Raindrop’s Journey

This fun picture book takes kids on an exhilarating ride through the eyes of a drop of rain. Tumbling from a cloud, the raindrop is part of a rainbow before it falls into a stream and later splashes into a lake, where it gets sucked up into a water treatment plant. From there it goes into a faucet, is drunk by a child, and sweated out. The sweat falls to the sidewalk and turns to water vapor, where it gathers with other droplets to finally create a cloud, freezes and becomes a snowflake.

The cartoon-like illustrations and pithy comments from the drops enliven the water cycle story and the book includes in depth parts of the cycle to explain how we get clean drinking water—but keeps it simple to understand. A straightforward narrative details specifics about each spread the kids should have a good time reading about the water cycle. The idea of all our water moving constantly and being recycled is a fascinating one to young learners and this book is a great way to introduce the water cycle.


Use the information from the book to create a diagram of the water cycle. Label the main steps and then write a paragraph about what the diagram shows.

Use this site for more information and coloring sheets at the bottom of the page.

This site has a large number of links about the water cycle.

National Science Standard: properties of earth materials; changes in earth and sky

Book from Capstone breakfast at TLA. Thank you, Capstone. It was great fun!


October 27, 2010


By Caroline Harris

Kingfisher, 2006

Science Kids series

(in new series to come titled The Discover Science Series)

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6315-4

Grades 1-4


“What is weather? Weather is all of the changes that happen in the air. Water, air, and heat from the Sun work together to make weather.”

Weather is an appealing 48 page book that defines and explains the phenomena of how forces work on the earth to create weather. It delves into the reasons for weather, the specifics created by the sun, air, and water, and the specific events that occur from these forces. From the sun to the water cycle to weather forecasting, this book has it all—neatly compacted into large type, bold photographs, and short text boxes. New vocabulary is found in the border at the bottom of each page.

The book has an extensive table of contents, an index, and four activities relating to weather. Information beside each photo adds to the body of facts presented. The photos are big and bright, adding an air of accessibility to the information. The tornado on the front cover is sure to attract readers, but the facts will keep them reading. I especially liked the activities at the back.

This book is part of Science Kids series, but will be included in the newer Discover Science Series from this publisher. I found the information about it in the current series list on Kingfisher.


Choose one aspect of weather to follow for two weeks (temperature, humidity, highest wind speed). Create a chart to record your information—maybe a classroom chart or one posted at home. After two weeks, record the data on a line graph to show the changes occurring over time. Look for any trend and write a paragraph summarizing the data from the chart.

This site will give you the graph grid.

This site shows you how to create your own graph.

Roberta at Growing with Science has a terrific list of activities and a great vocabulary list.

National science standard: understanding science inquiry; changes in earth and sky

Book provided by publisher


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