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Woods and Forests

Overview

In this book, scientist, teacher, and author Patricia A. Fink Martin presents more than thirty projects and investigations that will help young readers to learn about woods and forests by interacting with the organisms they find there. Along the way, they will come to appreciate the role that various creatures and environmental conditions play in maintaining forest ecosystems.

Provides instructions for projects and activities that explore forest habitats and ...

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Overview

In this book, scientist, teacher, and author Patricia A. Fink Martin presents more than thirty projects and investigations that will help young readers to learn about woods and forests by interacting with the organisms they find there. Along the way, they will come to appreciate the role that various creatures and environmental conditions play in maintaining forest ecosystems.

Provides instructions for projects and activities that explore forest habitats and demonstrate why they are valuable.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-This readable introduction offers budding biologists an impressive array of activities designed to increase their understanding and appreciation of these complex ecosystems through hands-on learning. Beginning with an explanation of tree structure and growth, the author goes on to characterize the relationship between trees and their environment and then to delve more deeply into ways of describing and measuring trees and the diverse life that surrounds them. The text concludes with a reflection on the past and future of our forests. Throughout the book, Martin offers detailed instructions for 13 investigations and 20 projects. They include looking at soil horizons, building bird boxes, collecting insects, and using microscopes to see tardigrades, microscopic water bears that live in droplets on lichen and moss. Black-and-white photos, diagrams, and drawings appear throughout. Simple sample data sheets highlight characteristics to look for in tree identification. Words in boldface are defined in an extensive glossary and instructions for making useful tools and equipment are appended. Sometimes the audience is unclear: after telling readers to measure 28 grams of leaves, the author warns that boiling water and its steam are hot. Some suggested equipment may be unfamiliar or available only to teachers. All of the activities would be within the capabilities of older middle school students who have some adult assistance and many high school students on their own. This book will be welcomed by science teachers and libraries supporting science-fair programs.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
From The Critics
This book was written to interest children in the forest and to help them describe it and its workings through exploration, observation, and a series of exercises. Some of the measurement exercises are interesting and useful, while others are questionable in purpose and execution. For instance, the one on forest measurement leaves one wondering what is to be done with the information once it is gathered.

The information covered is comprehensive and ranges from particular species to the total biological system, although the integration of successive levels of organization is neither well developed nor pointed out. A principal weakness is the volume's emphasis on "what" questions, with very little offered on the "how" and "why" of things. So we end up with data, but no push to develop hypotheses and tests to explain them.

The book concludes with admonitions about conservation and suggestions of topics for letters to Congress. One such topic is the prohibition of new roads in wilderness areas, but since new roads are in fact prohibited in the wilderness, the young correspondent writing about the topic to his or her representative would make a poor impression.

The book is written in a clear and interesting style, although the frequent admonitions to "watch out for poison ivy," "be sure to dress warmly," etc., become an irritant. A glossary, a list of suggested readings, and an appendix on tools and equipment construction round out the volume. (from the Exploring Ecosystems Series.) Questionable, Grades 58. REVIEWER: William K. Ferrell (emeritus, Oregon State University) ISBN: 0531116972

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531164594
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Exploring Ecosystems Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Chapter 1 Giants of the Plant Kingdom: The Wonder of Trees 19
Chapter 2 Bathed by the Air and Rooted in the Soil: Trees and Their Environment 39
Chapter 3 A First Look at the Forest: Describing and Measuring the Woods 52
Chapter 4 Oh, What a Tangled Web: The Ways of Life in the Forest 69
Chapter 5 Cycles and Flows: Functions of a Forest Ecosystem 91
Chapter 6 The Future of Our Forests 104
Conclusion 114
Appendix Tools and Equipment 116
Glossary 130
For Further Information 134
Index 140
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