Biology for Every Kid

Janice Van Cleave
John Wiley and Sons
Number of pages: 
224 pages
Grade / Age level: 

In it's segment on "Experiments that Teach Us About Ourselves: The Amazing Human Body" this book provides 35 experiments about the body (the other segments of the book are about plant and animal life. While certainly not a comprehensive anatomy course, the book does provide interesting and simple experiments (which can easily performed at home with fairly ordinary materials) that would provide a helpful supplement to the study of anatomy.

Approximately one third of this book is devoted to "Experiments for the Beginning Biologist: The World of Plants". In the typical Van Cleave style, this segment provides 35 experiments relating to plant life that are simple and informative (and can easily be done in the home). Most experiments are designed to demonstrate certain properties of plant life (such as osmosis and diffusion, what causes plant stems to wilt, what makes plants burst when over-watered, and how water is transported through plant stems). Other experiments determine certain questions such as how plants take in nutrientsand whether it matters which direction seeds face when they are planted. Each experiments concludes with an explanation as to the "why" of the results. I find these simple but very helpful (even for moms!).

Another third or so of this book is devoted to "Experiments in the Animal Kingdom: Introductory Zoology". In the Van Cleave style, this segment provides sipmle experiments (easily performed at home) involving molds, fungi, mini-organisms, yeast, fireflies, butterflies and moths, spiderwebs, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, goldfish and earthworms. In addition to experiments involving observation and/or manipulation of these small creatures, you will find experiments which "illustrate" properties of creatures (such as a camouflage and suction) without actually working with animals.

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