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rainbow Science

Rainbow Science

In this month’s book, James and his friends shatter a rainbow by flying right through it! (Not to mention all the other fantastical weather-related things that happen in the story.) Is it really possible to shatter a rainbow, or even reach one? Rainbows are made from light reflected off tiny droplets of water in the air. […]

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Girl looking at bugs

Bug Hunt!

This month’s book, James and the Giant Peach, was filled with fun bug characters. But were they all insects? Nope. Insects are a type of arthropod, and all of the bugs in the book were arthropods. So what’s the difference? Arthropods have segmented bodies, jointed apendages (legs), and exoskeletons (a hard shell). And so do insects, […]

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James and the Giant Peach Book Cover

James and the Giant Peach

About the Book: When James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. When James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit and crawls inside, he meets wonderful new […]

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Ivy and Bean book cover

Backyard Book Club: Ivy + Bean Overview

For this month’s meeting, the kids read Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record. (Click here for the book spotlight with online resources and other ideas.) After weeks of waiting, it was time to meet in person! We did our fossil-making activity first so the plaster could dry before the kids had to go home.  Then it was time for the Excavation […]

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Excavation Supplies

Backyard Book Club: Excavation Trivia Challenge

When the Backyard Book Club read Ivy + Bean Break the Fossil Record, we decided to follow in Ivy and Bean’s footsteps and do a little digging of our own. Before the rest of the kids arrived, our trusty assistants buried these items in the sandbox (some of them protectively sealed in plastic bags): Ivy Beans […]

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Completed Fossils

Backyard Book Club: Making Fossils

Our Backyard Book Club read Ivy + Bean Break the Fossil Record by Annie Barrows. So what could we do but make fossils at our meeting? The kids loved this activity and were so excited to take their fossils home. To make fossils of your own, you’ll need these materials: aluminum foil modeling clay Plaster of Paris […]

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Ivy and Bean book cover

Ivy + Bean Break the Fossil Record

About the Book: World record fever grips the second grade, and soon Ivy and Bean are trying to set their own record by becoming the youngest people to have ever discovered a dinosaur. But how hard is it to find one? My Two Cents: Ivy and Bean are spunky and clever and appeal to both boys and […]

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THe Ellie Mcdoodle Diaries Book Cover

Backyard Book Club: Ellie McDoodle Overview

For this month’s meeting, the kids read The Ellie McDoodle Diaries: Have Pen, Will Travel. (Click here for the book spotlight with online resources and other ideas.) We started with a double art activity, learning to draw Ellie (the kids were really good at this!) and learning to keep a sketch journal.  Then it was time for a science activity. We […]

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Kids outside

Backyard Book Club: Leaf Hunt

One of the thing I loved most about Ellie McDoodle from this month’s book is that she’s an artist, but she’s a scientist too. She’s always observing, recording, trying new things, and using all this info to really figure out the world around her. One of the things Ellie pays attention to is the plant life around […]

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Kids outside

Backyard Book Club: Sketch Journal

Our Backyard Book Club read The Ellie McDoodle Diaries: Have Pen, Will Travel…so of course we had to learn how to start our own sketch journals! The first thing we tried was drawing Ellie from the step-by-step instructions in the book. (If you look closely at the photo above, the Ellie on the whiteboard was drawn […]

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