Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: Eat Your Science Homework

What better way to learn science than to combine it with something kids love - working in the kitchen and making snacks? Ann McCallum Books has produced a lineup of kid friendly books for Science, History, and Math that make learning fun!  

We had the privilege of reviewing Eat Your Science Homework - Recipes for Inquiring Minds, and we had a lot of fun with it!

About Ann McCallum: Ann is a former one-room schoolhouse teacher, who has traveled extensively and written several different educational books. 

About Eat Your Science Homework: This is a 48 page softcover book that has six projects along with a plateful of science information and facts. Ann covers everything from safety in the 'lab' (the kitchen) to using the scientific method.  The book is full of fun and appealing illustrations along with vocabulary terms that are important to know, and introduces young scientists to many terms and concepts that are actually more advanced, but made simple in a fun and easy-to-relate-to way through comparing them with foods.  

About the projects: Each project includes a simplified recipe embedded in several pages of science notes, that explain the concepts being demonstrated by the recipe. While some of it may be a little hard to grasp, it is a great introduction to such tough scientific facts such as the periodic table of the elements, chemistry, forensics, or the solar system. 

Walk Through A Project: For this review, I would like to walk you through our experience with one of the projects, so you can see how thorough of a science lesson it was, as well as how much we enjoyed it. 

In the pictures above, you will see the progression of our science project, aka "Atomic Popcorn Balls".  After reading the page in the book about elements, and looking at the Periodic Table of the elements, we discussed how molecules are formed by elements that bond together. The purpose of the project was to demonstrate that two hydrogen atoms (the blue popcorn balls) and one oxygen atom (the pink popcorn ball) could be joined together to form a water molecule.

The directions in the book are very simple. Because my girls are older and a little more experienced in the kitchen, they needed very little help with making the recipe, although younger children would definitely need adult supervision when using the stove or completing the recipes.

The girls gathered the necessary ingredients and followed the steps to make two different colored popcorn balls. They then used toothpicks to join them together into 'water molecules'. 

We found the project interesting, and the girls definitely enjoyed learning about science while making snacks that they enjoyed eating. They talked about the lesson the entire time they were eating their popcorn balls, and even told some friends about it when they shared some of the extra snacks!

A Bonus for Teachers: On the website, there is a free downloadable educational guide that gives the teacher/parent some extra key concepts to emphasize when completing a project. There are also printable vocabulary charts and pages that would make great additions to a scientific notebook for a student, allowing them to really turn this book into a great addition to their science learning. The 21 page book includes templates for the teacher to use, and students to fill in.

Here is an example of a student page from the teacher's guide:

Age Recommendation: While this book is geared towards ages 7-10, I have to say that my 10 and 14 year olds both enjoyed it immensely. While the concepts were not new to them, it was a great review of things they have learned, and also was a great demonstration of concepts to help their understanding grow deeper.

Our overall opinion: We had so much fun with this book. It inspires me to make learning fun with my kids by doing great little hands-on projects like this to help them remember the concepts. I am inspired to try some of the other books in this series, because the girls enjoyed this book so much. 

To read about the other books in this series and see how the Crew used them, click the banner:

Ann McCallum Books Review
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  1. Looks great! This would be a great addition to our book collection.

  2. What a gorgeous collage of photos! I'm glad to see that your older children enjoyed it as well. Thanks so much for this lovely review!

    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog! We enjoyed your book so much. :)


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