Amazing Solar System Projects You Can Build Yourself by Delano Lopez, 2008, Nomad Press
Do you like projects you can make at home? With a yardstick you can make your own ramp like Galileo’s Acceleration Ramp. Use a cardboard tube and two lenses to make a Galilean Telescope. Try a Newtonian Telescope made with a cardboard box, aluminum foil, a small mirror and other household items. Even make your own Sputnik Satellite, Eagle Lander, or Mars Exploration Rover. Have fun building them yourself!
Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities by Mary Kay Carson, 2006, Chicago Review Press
Imagine you are Galileo and try the "Spy the Evening Star" activity. Next, pretend to be Kepler and do "Outlining Orbits." Then "Build a Telescope." "Walk to Pluto" to get your exercise. "Go Satellite Watching," "Put Together a Probe," be creative and "Make a Mission Patch," and much more.
Galileo for Kids: His Life and Ideas by Richard Panchyk, 2005, Chicago Review Press
Climb Galileo’s family tree to find out when and why they changed their family name from Bonajuti to Galilei. Travel along the timeline of many discoveries both before and after Galileo. Cook a Renaissance meal of meatballs and pea soup. Play ―Roll the Dice‖ and the ―Beam Strength Game.‖ Try the floating needle or the lodestone experiment. See how to make your own lunar observations. Use the map of Italy to find the important places in Galileo’s life. And be sure to read what the famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote in the forward of this terrific book.
Galileo’s Journal 1609–1610 by Jeanne K. Pettenati, 2006, Charlesbridge
Can you imagine what Galileo would write in a journal about one of the most exciting years in his life? In 1609, four hundred years ago, Galileo first looked at the night sky through his spyglass. In 1610, he published the book The Starry Messenger about what he saw. Galileo’s Journal imagines what that year was like. You might want to use facts about some other scientist or astronomer to write a journal for them. Imagine you are telling their story through your own journal entries.
Galileo’s Telescope by Gerry Bailey & Karen Foster, 2009, Crabtree
Digby and his sister, Hannah, like to go to Mr. Rummage’s Market. One Saturday they find an old telescope. From Mr. Rummage they learn all about Galileo’s first telescope, his discoveries, and how they changed the world. You, too, can learn all of this and more from Mr. Rummage. The next time you go to a garage sale, a flea market, or an antique shop look for an old telescope to buy for your own.
Star Spotters: Telescopes and Observatories by David Jefferis, 2009, Crabtree
Are you ready to start star spotting? You’ll need binoculars or a small telescope. Binoculars with bigger lenses are better for viewing the night sky. You might even want to try taking photos of the night sky. If you do, use a tripod or three-legged stand to help keep your camera steady. Do you like to travel with your family? You might want to check out telescopes and observatories in Hawaii, Wisconsin, California, Puerto Rico, the Canary Islands, or right near where you live.
Starry Messenger by Peter Sis, 1996, Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Read Galileo’s own words used to tell part of this story about his discoveries. Look at the intricate pictures to see if you can locate Galileo hiding in them. Find out how Galileo upset the Church and was punished for his observations and writings. Then learn how three hundred years later, because his discoveries were so valuable to science, Galileo was pardoned by the Church.
The Hubble Space Telescope by Margaret W. Carruthers, 2003, Scholastic
Edwin Hubble was curious about space. Using telescopes, he discovered that the Milky Way isn’t the only galaxy in the universe. He also found that the universe is expanding. The space telescope, launched in 1990, was named for Hubble. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is made of 100,000 parts and is about the size of a school bus! Imagine being a telescope repair person traveling into space to make changes to the HST. Watch for the Hubble Telescope to retire soon from its space adventure.
The Telescope by Tamra Orr, 2004, Scholastic
A Dutch eyeglass maker, Hans Lippershey, is thought to be the first to make a tool to help people see farther. This tool became a spyglass and then the telescope. Galileo is the most famous astronomer for his observations of the stars, the moon, and the planets. Follow the telescope timeline from 1514 into the future. Learn more about recent famous astronomers and scientists like Hale, Hubble, and Webb.
The Incredible Story of Telescopes by Greg Roza, 2004, PowerKids Press
Since Galileo’s first experiments, there have been many kinds of telescopes. The twin Keck telescopes are two huge optical telescopes in Hawaii. The Arecibo in Puerto Rico is a radio telescope. Probably the most famous is the Hubble Space Telescope, which orbits the Earth in only 97 minutes. Now, scientists are working on a larger, more powerful replacement for the Hubble
Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars by Mabel Armstrong, 2008, Stone Pine Press
Long ago, many wives, sisters, and daughters of astronomers helped them with their inventions and observations. Caroline Herschel, for example, became her brother’s assistant. In 1895, women astronomers, who were called "computers," worked at Harvard Observatory. Now, women are leading research. Margaret Burbidge headed a team that designed the Hubble Space Telescope. Nancy Roman is noted for designing telescopes that orbit the Earth. She’s sometimes called the "Mother of the HST." Read these biographies about women astronomers such as Jill Tartner, Wendy Freedman, and Sally Ride. Maybe one day you’ll add your name to this important group.
Telescopes and Space Probes 2nd edition, 2007, World Book
Telescopes help us see far away but space probes can actually go there. Like telescopes, space probes gather data and sometimes space samples. A special kind of probe is a rover that can land on and explore planets. Did you know that a third grade girl, Sofi Collins, won a contest to name the 2003 Mars rovers? She named them Spirit and Opportunity. What would you enter in a "Name the Rovers" contest?
Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian, 2007, Harcourt.
"On a clear night you might try/ to gaze upon the starry sky." Maybe you‘ve already tried stargazing. If not, you might want to give it a try. The first poem in this book is Skywatch and it begins with the line above and ends with these: "Start out when the day is done./ Most of all: have lots of fun!" There are 19 more really clever poems in this book about everything from black holes to Uranus. Start your stargazing adventure with a poem!
Dot to Dot in the Sky: Stories in the Stars by Joan Hinz, 2001, Whitecap.
When you can identify some of the constellations, why not learn the stories behind them? Discover why there is a Great Bear in the sky. Learn where Pegasus, the winged horse, is flying. And find out what Orion, the hunter, is tracking. Some of the constellations have more than one story. See if you can imagine and write a constellation story of your own.
See the Stars: Your First Guide to the Night Sky by Ken Croswell, 2000, Boyds Mills Press.
If you‘re serious about stargazing, try this book that tells you when and where to look for different constellations every month of the year. While you‘re outside in the dark, use a flashlight covered with red cellophane to focus on the photos in the book. They will help you spot the major stars in each constellation. You might even discover a lion, a bull, a scorpion, and much more in the night sky.
When Is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto by Elaine Scott, 2007, Clarion Books.
Planets are changing. So is the way we describe them. In August, 2006, a group of astronomers announced that Pluto is now classified as a dwarf planet. Learn about early astronomers who first discovered planets. Then find out how planets are discovered and what modern scientists have set as the qualifications for present day planets. Are there more dwarf planets in our Solar System?
Ten Worlds: Everything That Orbits the Sun by Ken Croswell, 2007, Boyds Mills Press.
What is the hottest planet? The biggest planet? The answers are in a section of Ten Worlds called "Extreme Planets." Planet number ten is a new dwarf planet named Eris. Some astronomers still disagree about whether the dwarf planets, Pluto and Eris, are real planets or not. You can read also about asteroids, comets, meteors, and how the solar system was formed.
The Inside and Out Guide to Spacecraft by Clare Hibbert, 2006, Heinemann Library.
Are you ready for space travel? Read about the spacecraft that can take you out of this world. Find out about the latest spacesuits. Learn about the International Space Station where you might dock. And meet astronauts who have already traveled in space.
11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar, 2008, National Geographic.
Do you know a rhyme or phrase to help you name the planets? Here‘s a new one to learn: "My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants." It‘s the phrase that won the National Geographic contest to name the eleven planets in their order from the Sun. These eleven include the dwarf planets Pluto, Eris, and Ceres. Read all about the eleven planets and more. Maybe you‘ll discover a twelfth!
Wonderful World of Space by Andrew Fraknoi, 2007, Disney Pixar.
Red Giants. Black Holes. White Dwarfs. Oh my! Buzz Lightyear, along with other Disney characters, help you discover the meanings of these colorful terms. You‘ll also learn about the all-stars, not of baseball but of astronomy. There‘s even a section on astronomy activities to get your whole family involved.
George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy & Stephen Hawking, 2007, Simon & Schuster.
Imagine surfing on a comet in outer space. It sounds fantastic! George has many exciting explorations as he unlocks the secrets of the universe. He solves a mystery, rescues a friend from a black hole, and recovers a stolen computer. Through all his adventures, George is making discoveries about the universe and you will too!
Eyewitness: Tree by David Burnie, 2000, DK Publishing.
Would you like a birds-eyeview of trees? In this "Eyewitness" book you can really get to know trees close-up. See photos of buds, branches, and bark. Find out how a tree is born and what happens to it when it dies. Discover how trees are transformed into lumber. Learn how living things, like koala bears and howler monkeys, depend on trees for food. This is a book full of facts, photos, and activities that will help you discover all about trees.
Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Trees by Jim Arnosky, 1992, Bradbury Press/Macmillan.
Imagine a Rip Van Winkle type character leading you through the forest. Crinkleroot will do just that. In this book, he tells a story as he gives factual information about trees. The cartoon-like drawings show trees in all stages of growth. They include trees through the seasons. Learn to recognize leaves and to determine the age of trees. Join Crinkleroot as he hikes along.
First Field Guide: Trees by Brian Cassie, National Audubon Society, 1999, Scholastic.
Do you know your state tree? You can find it in a special section of this field guide. You can also use this guide to identify over 150 North American trees. It gives web sites, videos, and organizations that will help you learn more about trees. There’s an index, a glossary, and icon symbols to make this guide easy to use. You can become a real naturalist by using this field guide.
Take a Tree Walk by Jane Kirkland, 2001/2006, Stillwater Publishing.
Here’s everything you need to know to take a tree walk. Choosing what to wear, mapping your walk, and taking field notes are included in this National Arbor Day Foundation Award-winning book.
Tell Me Tree: All about Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons, 2002, Little, Brown & Co.
Make your own tree identification book. The basic information and scientific vocabulary you need are included here.
Starting with Nature: Tree Book by Pamela Hickman, 1999, Kids Can Press.
If you like experiments and art projects, you’ll like this book about trees. It includes information about endangered trees and a map of U.S. forest areas.
One Small Place in a Tree by Barbara Brenner, 2004, Harper Collins.
How can a tree be a home for so many woodland animals? From a small scratch in the tree bark, to a hole, to a dead tree, there are lots of places for creatures to make a home.
Folk Tales and Tall Tales about Trees
Johnny Appleseed: the Story of a Legend by Will Moses, 2001, Philomel Books.
John Chapman was an early environmentalist. He preserved forests and orchards. He protected animals. And he provided apple trees for settlers in the frontier lands from Massachusetts to Ohio. As he traveled through the wilderness, John became known as Johnny Appleseed. He carried with him apple seeds and young trees to plant. Many legends grew about this Appleseed man. This book tells about his actual life. You might be interested in the folk art style of illustrations because Will Moses, the author and illustrator, is the great grandson of the famous artist known as Grandma Moses.
Folks Call Me Appleseed John by Andrew Glass, 1995, Delacorte Press.
Can you imagine spending the winter in the hole of a tree? One of the legends about Johnny Appleseed tells that he once made a winter home in a hollow sycamore tree. Another legend tells how he took his canoe onto an ice float to go down a partly-frozen river. Legend also tells that Johnny Appleseed made friends with a wolf after he rescued it from a trap. Facts about Johnny Appleseed’s life are at the end of this book about his legends.
John Chapman: The Legendary Johnny Appleseed by Karen Clemens, Warrick, 2001, Historical American Biography series, Enslow Publishers Inc.
Do you want to know more about the real Johnny Appleseed? There’s a chronology, like a timeline, of John Chapman’s life in this book. There are also maps, photos, and internet resources included in this biography.
Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe by Dell J. McCormick, 1990, Caxton Printers, 1stedition printed in 1936.
Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg, 1984, William Morrow & Company.
The Bunyans by Audrey Woods, 1996, Blue Sky Press/Scholastic
We aren’t sure if Paul Bunyan came from Washington, Idaho, or Maine. We are sure that he is a giant hero in American tall tales. It’s said that Paul was as tall as a redwood tree. He even used the top of a pine tree for a comb. His story began in logging camps all over the United States and Canada. These stories tell that Paul and his blue ox, Babe, cleared many forests for early settlers. Along their travels they created such natural wonders as the Saint Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, and the Grand Canyon. Later, as told in The Bunyans, Paul married and raised a son and a daughter. The children carried on the enormous job of forming the landscape of North America. Once, Paul made Niagara Falls for his daughter to use to wash her hair. The story tells that even the face of the moon could have been carved by Paul’s son.
A Drop of Water by Gordon Morrison, 2006, Houghton Mifflin (NY).
Do you like to play "I Spy"? In this book about the water cycle, you can search for over 40 plants and animals. You’ll follow a single drop of water down a stream and through the countryside. You’ll learn about caring for the environment, too. If you can’t find all the plants and animals, there’s a great, illustrated glossary in the back of the book to help you. See how many plants and animals you know.
A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick, 1997, Scholastic (NY).
You'll love Walter Wick's stop-action photography. It lets you see a single drop of water better than if you were looking through a magnifying glass. You can also see actual snowflakes and even molecules in motion. And, if you like to do your own experiments, this book is for you. It’s full of simple experiments that can be done with supplies you’ll find in your own kitchen. Get ready to start your own scientific investigation of water.