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The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines
     

The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines

5.0 4
by Lois Spangler, Christina Wald (Illustrator)
 
When a young child decides to build a fort in the backyard, Grandpa comes forward to help. But they can't do it alone—they get help from the six simple machines: lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, and wedge. Told in cumulative rhyme, similar to The House That Jack Built, readers follow the building process to completion and discover the

Overview

When a young child decides to build a fort in the backyard, Grandpa comes forward to help. But they can't do it alone—they get help from the six simple machines: lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, and wedge. Told in cumulative rhyme, similar to The House That Jack Built, readers follow the building process to completion and discover the surprise reason it was built.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
An introduction to simple machines that goes wrong at "Fort" and just gets worse. Wedging the informational content into uncommonly awful verse ("These are the wheels and axles / that move my wagon without hassles"), a young narrator describes each step in the construction of said "fort" (actually, in the bland illustrations, an elaborately designed playhouse). In doing so, the book demonstrates each of six simple machines, mostly tools, in action, though not always in the right order or with much sense to their use. Grandpa, who furnishes most of the labor, really should be levering up rocks to clear the site before, not after, the project's sawn boards have been assembled, for instance. Moreover, the tools on display include a never-seen-in-use hammer and spirit level, plus a pulley that would be useful for a treehouse but is nonsensical here: "This is the pulley that brings up the treats, / so yummy and sweet that we love to eat." Looking much larger inside than out in final views, the finished building is furnished as a science lab and in a shocking (shocking) denouement, the owner turns out to be a girl. A visual quiz, explanatory notes and other pedagogical backmatter fill the closing pages. Readers will be "plane" inclined to ditch this screw-up. (Informational picture book. 7-9)
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
A grandfather and his grandchild build a fort in their backyard with the help of six machines—lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, and wedge. The grandchild explains the process in rhyming verse followed by cumulative verse on the opposite page throughout the book as in The House That Jack Built. Large colorful illustrations show their backyard, pets, and the variety of tools they use to construct the fort. The wheels and axles move the wagon as it carries wood. The saw is a wedge, and screws push through the wood. A pulley brings up treats and a lever moves a rock. A ramp leading up to the fort is an inclined plane. The final illustrations show the completed fort and the decorated interior that is especially made for the grandchild. There are four pages at the end of the book that provide additional information and activities such as tools to use in measuring and questions to consider when building a fort. Independent readers could read this book, and it would also lend itself to adults reading aloud the cumulative rhyme with children. The large illustrations show a close view of how the tools are used, making it very understandable for young children. This entertaining and educational book is a great science resource for schools and libraries. Reviewer: Vicki Foote; Ages 7 to 10.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607186205
Publisher:
Arbordale Publishing
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
What is a machine? Most of us would immediately think of a copy machine or heavy-duty factory machines or something like that. However, the six simple machines that Grandpa and his grandchild use to build a fort in the backyard on Fourth St. are a wheel and axle (wagon), wedge (saw), screw (wood screws), pulley (pulley with rope and basket), lever (crowbar), and incline plane (ramp). As the pair build the fort together from start to finish, can you guess the surprise ending that awaits the reader at the conclusion of the story? This fun, rhyming text, after the order of “This Is the House That Jack Built,” introduces young students to the scientific concepts behind the six basic machines that have been in use for hundreds of years as illustrated by everyday objects that children are familiar with. The “For Creative Minds” educational section contains more information on the “Simple Machines,” a “Match the Machines” activity, questions about “Measuring Tools,” and suggestions for “Hands On: Building a Fort.” More free activities are available online at the publisher’s website. One might wish that all science could be presented in this cleverly written way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to all young readers. This book fills a crucial need that exists. In our country today. Needed are more books like this one that shows children how science is used in real life situations!  This book stands out even more because it is highlighting physics concepts - the six simple machines  -and how they can be practically used to create an enjoyable fort for the characters in the this story. This book can have a great impact on children! I also love the illustrations. Let's have more physical science books which show real life experiences like this one. Excellent job,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an excellent book that demonstrates physical science for children in a thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read story. The manner in which the author uses intergenerational relationships, easy to understand and practical information regarding physical science, and girls learning about and using simple machines to develop her story creates excitement and interest for the reader. The illustrations include family, friends, and pets all around the clearly detailed depicted use of simple machines. The clever use of cumulative rhyme makes the story fun to read for students of all abilities and also allows for quick retention of information. The "For Creative Minds" section at the end of the story will serve as an excellent reference book for simple machines. As a parent as well as an educator for more than 20 years, I highly recommend this book for the classroom and for a child's personal bookshelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parents and educators will love this cleverly written story!