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What's the Matter in Mr. Whisker's Room?

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What¹s the Big Idea? Kids figure it out for themselves by taking matter into their own hands in a series of fun explorations that make science discoveries as simple as child's play.

Mr. Whiskers, the teacher, has that wild look in his eye again. That's the look that means, Get ready for hands-on science fun and some BIG IDEAS! This time the subject matter is . . . matter. Using seven science stations, Mr. Whiskers encourages the kids in his class to use all their senses to make ...

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Overview

What¹s the Big Idea? Kids figure it out for themselves by taking matter into their own hands in a series of fun explorations that make science discoveries as simple as child's play.

Mr. Whiskers, the teacher, has that wild look in his eye again. That's the look that means, Get ready for hands-on science fun and some BIG IDEAS! This time the subject matter is . . . matter. Using seven science stations, Mr. Whiskers encourages the kids in his class to use all their senses to make observations and draw conclusions. Martin, Cory, and Miguel are dabbling with water at one science station, while Larry and Ashley are up to their elbows in gloop at another. Ice blocks, rocks, and mud offer more chances to have fun and learn too! Everyone's a scientist in Mr. Whiskers' class, where hands-on mini-experiments lead to Big Ideas — and promote an ongoing passion for independent, open-ended discovery.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Join the class of elementary science teacher extraordinaire, the aptly named and apparently fun Mr. Whiskers, as his group takes a hands-on approach to learning about matter. Whiskers, who is certainly a tribute to a whole breed of science teachers who happily get their hands dirty to make a lasting impression on kids, has experiment stations set up all over the school and invites his students to have fun and discover. They do, and from their comments and conversations, readers learn four concepts of matter, as well as tuning into the fun and distinct personalities of the kids which reveal themselves through snippets of dialogue. Cleverly written to teach and entertain, the book is similar to one of those delightful Ms. Frizzle adventures, but more realistic as the kids stay earthbound. Of course, that said, teachers who notice the student with a hose in his hand trying to melt the ice, will know that real kids would also douse a few peers. The pages are busy and energetic with colorful drawings which serve to illustrate the experiments. Information on how to recreate each substance and test appears after the story. Good choice for home-schoolers or for classroom teachers as an introduction to a unit on matter. It would appear, in Mr. Whisker's class, nothing is the matter and everything is the matter. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 6 to 8.
—Deborah Zink
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Mr. Whiskers allows his eight students to spend the day exploring seven science centers around the classroom and on the playground. As the students experiment, they uncover "big ideas" about matter. For example, using water droppers allows them to figure out that matter takes up space, while playing with "gloop" points out that matter can be explored by using the senses. As each concept is revealed, it is displayed in the ink-and-watercolor illustrations on a bulletin board, banner, or clipboard. Although this book is not as fantastic as Joanna Cole's "Magic School Bus" stories (Scholastic), it takes a similar approach by encouraging students to learn through interacting with one another as well as with adults. Readers can follow the characters' thought processes through the narration and in dialogue bubbles. Mr. Whiskers provides a note to adults at the beginning about how students learn through exploration and again at the end by supplying information on how to create learning kits (including addresses for purchasing supplies). Although adults might be able to glean some ideas from this book, it's really more for entertainment.-Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Oh to be a kid in Mr. Whiskers's primary science classes. The next best thing is reading and doing hands-on science explorations at school or at home with this guide. Mr. Whiskers is a hip young teacher with red crew cut and goatee who sets simple rules and gives children free range with collaborative inquiry centers. He encourages them to explore, discover, and share big ideas about matter. Seven of those big ideas are boxed in the drawings to reinforce them for the reader. He concludes with a word to parents and teachers about inquiry, provides recipes, and gives addresses for supplies. His approach models NSTA recommended practices and national Science Standards. The eight multiracial kids and their laidback mentor are having a great time, while exploring important concepts. The illustrator's humorous pen-and-watercolor drawings are appealing and action-filled without overwhelming the text. Hopefully, Ross, a naturalist and author of 40 books for children, has many more Mr. Whiskers adventures planned. Great fun, with appealing science. (Nonfiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763613495
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Elsohn Ross is the author of more than forty books for children, most about science or world cultures. He lives right next to California's Yosemite National Park, where, for close to thirty years, he has been working as a naturalist, taking visitors on hikes and walks to learn all about the park. His ideas, he says, "come from my work as a naturalist and my adventures with school kids."

Paul Meisel is well known for his illustrations in more than thirty children's books, including the Cool Crazy Crickets books by David Elliott, ALMOST LATE TO SCHOOL and other picture books by Carol Diggory Shields, and books in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out science series.

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Customer Reviews

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