Academic journal article Science and Children

The Solid Truth about Matter

Academic journal article Science and Children

The Solid Truth about Matter

Article excerpt

By Mark Weakland. 32 pp. $26.65. 2013. ISBN 9781429684279. Capstone Press. (Grades 3-6)

This is a short book that would be entertaining for the targeted audience of third through sixth grades. It has lots of illustrations and funny captions, which do a good job of elaborating on the science information being presented and making it reader relevant. The short length of the book (32 pages including all the afterword materials like index, glossary, and internet sites) makes it ideal for students who have short attention spans. The presentation does not talk down to students but uses language and humor to entice the reader to continue to read. Consequently they are being introduced to some useful scientific concepts, which they will study in depth later in their school careers.

The ubiquitous nature of matter is described in the first pages, thereby drawing the reader in for more information. One of the examples used begins with a question about air, which cannot be seen. Does air have mass? The text suggests blowing up a balloon and checking the mass. A second example concerns a rock and its shadow helping the reader to think more deeply about what is matter. The rock obviously has mass but does its shadow? Shadows can be seen but cannot be weighed. The use of a rock/shadow and a balloon/air are good examples of helping a reader better understand how matter is defined--taking up space and having mass. …

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