From Beginning to End: A Song about Life Cycles


Sing a song of science! You know the song "On Top of Old Smokey." Sing along with new words that explain how all living things have a beginning and an end.
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Sing a song of science! You know the song "On Top of Old Smokey." Sing along with new words that explain how all living things have a beginning and an end.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed
"On top of old Smoky all covered with snow, I lost my poor lover for courtin' too slow." Or you may recall a more familiar version as "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed." If your child heard new verses to this familiar song in order to learn about living things, would he/she be more apt to remember basic science facts when older? This research-based approach is for children as young as age four but also for elementary students. Early readers will delight in the corresponding illustrations that reinforce concepts. There are also fact boxes which offer additional fascinating details for parents and educators to lead discussions or pursue further exploration. Beginning readers might facilitate read-alouds in the classroom by tackling that portion of a page. Thus, the classic song "On top of old Smoky…" becomes "The sunshine beats down on this papery seed. A root grows below it. Will it be a weed? The rain helps it grow strong. Oh, what will it be? In years it will shade you, this mighty elm tree." Do not hesitate to share the books in this series, even if you doubt your musical skills. For adults reluctant to incorporate music into their program of instruction, an audio file can be downloaded at Also helpful are the entire lyrics in the back of the book, along with the primary notes of the melody. "Did You Know?" a "Glossary," "To Learn More," an "Index," and "On the Web" foster multiple ways to expand possibilities. Even if the musical component is not preferred, the books in the "Science Song" series provide an engaging introduction to the fundamentals of science in rhyming text.Bright, colorful illustrations have small children participating in a variety of activities. Age appropriate resources are clearly included as well. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781404852938
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: Mission: Science Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 100 books for kids and teens. Her work has received the Minnesota Book Award and other honors, including Bank Street Best Books of the Year, and NCTE Notables. She and her husband live in Minnesota and have two monsters of their own, Maddie and Annabelle. When Laura's not reading or writing, she likes to dance, play games, and work with the Minnesota Brass drum corps (which involves a lot of Counting, following Patterns, and creating Shapes on the field). She tries to eat More vegetables and Less brownies, but that is hard! Learn more about Laura at
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