Academic journal article Science Scope

The Solid Truth about Matter

Academic journal article Science Scope

The Solid Truth about Matter

Article excerpt

By Mark Weakland. 2013. 32 pp. $26.65. Capstone Press. Manheto, MN. ISBN: 9781429684279

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 the index, glossary, internet resources, etc.) 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 readers to continue to read. Consequently, they are being introduced to some useful scientific concepts that 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. 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 matter is. The rock obviously has mass but does its shadow? Shadows can be seen but cannot be weighed. The use of the rock/shadow and theballoon/air help the reader better understand how matter is Defined--it takes up space and has mass. These examples would help the early science student come to know matter in a practical, not just theoretical, way. …

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