What's the BIG Idea?: Amazing Science Questions for the Curious Kid

What's the BIG Idea?: Amazing Science Questions for the Curious Kid

by Vicki Cobb
     
 

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Why don't we feel the Earth move? Why does an ice cube float? Why can't you unscramble an egg? Why can't we live forever? These are all questions that a curious kid might ask. In What's the BIG Idea?, renowned juvenile science educator Vicki Cobb answers these and other fascinating questions to help kids learn more about the world through the wonders of

Overview


Why don't we feel the Earth move? Why does an ice cube float? Why can't you unscramble an egg? Why can't we live forever? These are all questions that a curious kid might ask. In What's the BIG Idea?, renowned juvenile science educator Vicki Cobb answers these and other fascinating questions to help kids learn more about the world through the wonders of science.

A big idea is one that has no simple or easy answer, and there are four big ideas in this book: motion, energy, matter, and life. The motion of nonliving objects—rolling balls, falling stones, the moon and stars—seems so ordinary and familiar that most people take it for granted. Matter, on the other hand, comes in so many different forms—solids, liquids, gases, metals, nonmetals, living material—that it is hard to imagine anything that all matter has in common. Energy is an idea that is in the news just about every day, yet most people couldn't tell you what the big idea of energy is. And life—what life is—seems mind-boggling and infinitely complicated. How do we bend our brains around it?

Scientists learn by asking questions. And this book, now in paperback, is designed to make young readers stop and think about each of the questions before reading what scientists have learned that answers each question. They'll be able to do simple things to see for themselves, and they will build their own scientific knowledge in the process. By the time they've finished this book, they'll get the big picture of what science is all about.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Bypassing the "shock and awe" approach so common in nonfiction these days, Cobb provides substantial content in a conversational and upbeat style. The four main topics—energy, motion, matter, and life—are presented as "big ideas" and explained through a series of two- to four-page chapters that open with a kid-friendly question designed to provide insight into some of the great scientific breakthroughs ("Which Falls Faster, a Bowling Ball or a Marble?") or to reveal background information ("Why Doesn't the Sun Burn Out?"). Each question is introduced with an illustrated page of four students reacting (in speech bubbles) with humor and sarcasm to the question, which they often term "dumb." They react to the answer with more examples and humor at the end of each chapter. Many answers lead neatly to the next question. The volume closes with the question, "How long can we live?" and concludes that "Death is a natural part of the life process." Scattered throughout are "Check it out" boxes offering suggestions for hands-on and "thought experiments." Spots of black-line cartoon-style artwork filled with color break up most pages and keep the large-point sans-serif text from overwhelming the spreads. This will be a quality addition to any collection but it has a dated look that will make it a hard sell.—Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616080136
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,069,881
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Vicki Cobb is the well-known author of more than eighty-five highly entertaining nonfiction books for children, including Bet You Can't, which won the New York Academy of Sciences Children's Science Book Award. Currently, she is president and founder of INK Think Tank: Nonfiction Authors in Your Classroom. She has won numerous awards, including a Sibert Honor for I Face the Wind and a special Lifetime Achievement Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012. Learn more about Vicki at www.vickicobb.com.

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