Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities

Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities

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by Kristan Lawson
     
 

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Darwin and Evolution for Kids traces the transformation of a privileged and somewhat scatterbrained youth into the great thinker who proposed the revolutionary theory of evolution. Through 21 hands-on activities, young scientists learn about Darwin’s life and work and assess current evidence of evolution. Activities include going on a botanical

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Overview

Darwin and Evolution for Kids traces the transformation of a privileged and somewhat scatterbrained youth into the great thinker who proposed the revolutionary theory of evolution. Through 21 hands-on activities, young scientists learn about Darwin’s life and work and assess current evidence of evolution. Activities include going on a botanical treasure hunt, keeping field notes as a backyard naturalist, and tying knots for ship sails like those on the HMS Beagle. Children also learn how fossils are created, trace genetic traits through their family trees, and discover if acquired traits are passed along to future generations. By encouraging children, parents, and teachers to define the differences between theories and beliefs, facts and opinions, Darwin and Evolution for Kids does not shy away from a theory that continues to spark heated public debate more than a century after it was first proposed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An excellent resource." —Children's Literature

"Very readable and interesting biography."  —Science and Children

"Explores the theory of evolution in a straight-forward and scientific manner."  —Connect

Connect
"Explores the theory of evolution in a straight-forward and scientific manner."
Science and Children
Very readable and interesting biography.
Publishers Weekly
Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities by Kristan Lawson explores Darwin's life and work, from his historic trip around the Galapagos Islands, which helped shape his controversial theory of evolution, to an explanation of the theory itself to the challenges the theory raised... and continues to face. Hands-on activities encourage budding scientists to explore some of the concepts themselves, from going on a Botanical Treasure Hunt to making fossils and more. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This book describes the life of Charles Darwin and his theories on evolution. This book presents the information in a clear and understandable way, and is also very detailed—with 140 plus pages (mostly text). The book also has a plethora of simple activities, which readers can do, and further information that correlates with the text. However, one thing to note is that these activities and information often interrupt the text, so readers will have to either skip the activity "boxes" and continue reading on further pages or read the activity and then go back to the text. Lawson explains the evidence of evolution very well; in fact the text supports Darwin's view that "[the Bible] was an important book of wise and wonderful moral truths . . . but something that should be put aside when dealing with science." As a result, someone reading the book who strongly believes in the Bible's version of creation could become upset. The text is well-organized and has an excellent index and a glossary. The book also has a list of resources (web sites, further reading, and a bibliography). Yet, as a result of the length of the book as well as the bibliography, it would have been nice if the information was cited within the text. This book is an excellent resource for those learning or doing reports about Darwin and evolution; however, The Tree of Life by Peter Sis would be a better choice for younger readers. 2003, Chicago Review Press, Ages 9 to 12.
—Joella Peterson
KLIATT
Darwin and Evolution for Kids is intended for ages 9 and up. Eight chapters present young readers with Darwin's life: his younger years, the famous trip on the HMS Beagle, his theory of evolution, his detractors and opponents. The final chapter tells what happened after Darwin's death in 1882, including the Scopes trial and the work of Gregor Mendel. A brief glossary is provided, as well as a list of Web sites and a selected bibliography. The index points readers to such topics as the Bible, creationism, DNA, embryology, fossils, genetics, sexual attractiveness, and transmutations. The 21 activities cover taxonomy, nature studies, and acquired characteristics. Readers are also instructed in baking Shrewsbury cakes from an authentic 1808 recipe, studying Greek and Latin vocabulary, going on a botanical treasure hunt in the grocery store, tying knots, cooking a Chilean dish of beans and tomatoes, keeping a journal, and making fossils. Most of the activities require adult supervision. The text is written clearly and enhanced with many illustrations. KLIATT Codes: P—Recommended. 2003, Chicago Review Press, 146p. illus. bibliog. index., Ages adult.
—Janet Julian
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This well-researched and developed consideration of the life of Charles Darwin and his voyage on the HMS Beagle and its subsequent impact on the nature of how humankind views itself and the world is an excellent introduction to the great thinker and how he developed his ideas on the theory of evolution. Besides the detail the author provides on each aspect of Darwin's life, photographs and illustrations from the time period and from Darwin's books add another layer of useful information for young people reading the text. An additional valuable piece of this text comes in the form of 21 activities that readers can experiment with that correspond to the events in the chapters in which they are found. The activity related to Darwin's classical education allows readers to play with Greek and Latin words in order to learn other phrases; a voyage journal encourages students to go out and explore their backyard with the attention to detail that Darwin gave the world during his voyage on the Beagle, and the recipe for Shrewsbury cakes gives those interested a sense of the food of Darwin's day. As would be expected in a text like this, we find a solid glossary of terms as well as a thorough list of web and text resources for further study. This is a must-have in any school or public library. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-A thorough introduction to the life and work of this naturalist and thinker. The book begins with a description of Darwin's family life, privileged childhood, and education. His five-year voyage on the Beagle, during which he collected specimens to send back to England, is vividly described. The author places Darwin's ideas in context with those of other philosophical and scientific thinkers, tracing the work of both his predecessors and contemporaries. Lawson also explores how his subject's theories were accepted or rejected by others and discusses how the disagreement among scientists and creationists continues to the present time. The writing is consistently clear and lively. The text is supplemented by related activities, including how to develop a taxonomy, tying nautical knots, and making geological strata. Brown-and-white photographs and reproductions create a sense of the Victorian era. A list of resources for further research encourages students to delve deeper into the topic. This book covers the same material as J. Edward Evans's Charles Darwin (Lerner, 1993; o.p.), but is more comprehensive.-Ann Joslin, Erie County Public Library, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556525025
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Series:
For Kids Series
Edition description:
ACTIVITY
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
589,656
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
1060L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 Years

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