Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Celebrate Earth Week - Explore Natural Resources!

Explore Natural Resources
by Anita Yasuda; illus. by Jennifer Keller
96 pages; ages 6-9
Nomad Press, 2014 (release May 13)

In this book you discover natural resources through hands-on activities. By the end of the book, promises author Anita Yasuda, you'll be able to design a wind-powered car, catch solar rays, build a composter, and be proficient in the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Topics include: air, water, soil, energy, and conservation. There are plenty of new words to learn (humus, source recuction, VOC) and twenty-five hands-on activities that range from crafts (recycle a T-shirt into a cloth bag) to technology (build a turbine). You'll be able to calculate your "water footprint" - how much water you use each day - and cook a s'more in a solar oven you build out of a discarded box. There's even a recipe for natural pesticide that you can spray on your plants to keep pesky bugs away. It works - I used to use it to keep ants from invading my kitchen counter.

The book is due out in a couple weeks. While you're waiting, here's an activity from the first chapter:

Get to Know Who Lives in Your Neighborhood

  • Divide a piece of paper into six sections. Label each section with one of these headings: Birds; Reptiles; Insects; Mammals; Trees; Plants.
  •  Draw a picture from each category, or cut out an example from magazines, and glue it into its section.
  • Clip your page to a clipboard and take it - and a pencil - along on a walk through your neighborhood. If you have a camera, take it along too.
  • As you walk along, listen and look for the animals and plants on your list. Jot down what you see, or keep a tally of what's in your neighborhood.
  • Later - when you get home or visit a library - look up some of the plants and animals you discovered in a field guide or on the internet.
Review copy provided by publisher.

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