Budding geologists Josh and Amy are crazy about collecting rocks. And with the help of local expert Dave, they learn how to sort rocks by different attributes: size, color, hardness and type. "We're kind of like rock detectives," says Amy. The story is filled with lots of rock facts. Classifying objects according to attributes is a skill used throughout mathematics and science. (Dave's shop is a real place, located in Evanston, Illinois, around the block from where Stuart used to live.) Illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith.
Place a handful of blocks of different sizes and colors on the table and talk about the different ways that the blocks can be grouped.
On sheets of different colored paper, draw a variety of shapes in different sizes: triangles, rectangles, squares, pentagons, etc. Help your child or students cut out the shapes and ask him or her to place them in groups by size, color, shape or other attributes.
With a deck of playing cards or a set of dominoes, explore all the different ways that the cards or dominoes can be grouped: by number, by suit, by color, or any other way you can think of!
We do sorting for "Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop." We do nuts, bolts and screws and it really gets the kids going. You would be surprised at some of the language I get out of the children, such as, “I like the texture of this,” or “We did this by shape,” or “We did this by color.”
A great activity for Party Day or Halloween involves candy. I divide the kids into groups and give each group a bunch of candy. They have to sort and classify it and graph their data however they choose. Then they have to present their observations to the class. Afterwards, they have sort and share the candy among their group. And then – finally -- they get to keep it!
from Richard Callan, Bunker Hill Elementary School, Indianapolis, IN
Murphy turns his considerable talents to the concept of classification in this MathStart title. When Josh receives a strange rock from his uncle, he consults an expert, shop owner Dave, to learn about his gift. He also notices the store's display window, which features stones arranged by size. As Josh's interest in and knowledge of geology grows, the window display changes, with the classification scheme becoming more complex—from size to color to type, and finally to hardness. Murphy's forte is explaining complex topics in a down-to-earth manner, and that's just what he's done here. Along the way, he also includes a good deal of information about rocks, minerals, and the scientific method. Smith's full-color illustrations capture the excitement of rock hunting and include many geological and equipment details. A good introduction to primary geology units or lessons on classification. Activity suggestions for adults and kids are appended.
—Kay Weisman, 5/1/00
Used with permission from Booklist. Copyright ¬© 2000 American Library Association. All rights reserved.
When Amy and Josh begin a rock collection, their friend Dave shows them way to organize their rocks: by size, place of origin, color, the process that formed them, or hardness. Although the unsuspecting will think they are learning only about rocks, the topic of classification is thoroughly explored and is extended with activities for adults and children at the end of the story. Loose color cartoons keep the tone light.Reprinted by permission of The Horn Book Inc., Boston, MA.
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