Move It! Work It!: A Song about Simple Machines


Sing a song of science! You know the song "Kookaburra." Sing along with new words that explain how six simple machines make our daily lives easier.
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2009 Library Binding Fair Acceptable as a reading copy. All proceeds from purchases from BooksKC go to benefit the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City, a nonprofit ... organization which provides job services, training, and employment to individuals with disabilities. Read more Show Less

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Sing a song of science! You know the song "Kookaburra." Sing along with new words that explain how six simple machines make our daily lives easier.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed
"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. Merry, merry king of the bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra! Gay your life must be." In this version of a classic tune, young children (even four and five years old) enjoy an introduction to six common machines: the inclined plane, the wheel and axle, the lever, the wedge, the pulley, and the screw. These simple machines are easily found in homes, the work place, at school, in daily activities, and during play. People also use them in different countries around the world to do all kinds of work, to make their lives easier and be more efficient. "Lifting the piano is a great big pain…use an inclined plane." Riding a bike to a friend's house requires the work of wheels and axles as pedals are pushed. Rowing with wooden oars on the lake or enjoying a see-saw at the playground demonstrates how a lever works by turning or shifting over a fulcrum. Want to build a campfire or hardy structure in the wild? Carefully wield an ax (a wedge) to make tree branches or trunks the size you need. "Do you know a crane contains a wheel…pulleys are ideal." "If a couple nails or glue won't do, take the time to learn to turn a screw." There are helpful features in the book, too. Fact boxes show another example of each machine with a bit more detail that explains how it operates. They are just right for beginning readers. For adults reluctant to incorporate songs into their curriculum or who are uncomfortable with their musical skills, an audio file can be downloaded at In addition, all lyrics are written in the back of the book with the melody line of the tune. "Did You Know?" a "Glossary," "To LearnMore," an "Index," and "On the Web" foster ways to expand investigation possibilities for curious scientists. Even if the popular musical element were omitted at times, the "Science Song" series provides an engaging introduction to basic science concepts in rhyming text. Small children play across the pages in bright, colorful illustrations just as age appropriate resources are included. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed
School Library Journal


These books outline basic science concepts on their opening pages and use the tunes of well-known songs to explain them more fully. For example, introductory text and sidebars in Living explain that living things move and eat, and the song (to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?") elaborates in lines such as "Is it moving?/Is it moving?/Can it fly?/Gallop by?/Living things need dinner,/Or they get much thinner./So they need/To drink and feed." One line of the song is provided per page, often accompanied by sidebars. A closing "Did You Know?" page provides additional facts, such as the sizes of various types of plants and the amounts some animals eat in Living . Bold, colorful illustrations depict children from a variety of backgrounds. Adults willing to sing along are required.-Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781404852990
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: Mission: Science Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (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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