Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Reading Through Physics with Isaac Newton and the Road Runner

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone
would convince me of God's existence.  - Isaac Newton

Splat!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with…
My 10 yod son has been asking a lot of questions lately about why things move and behave the way they do.  Couple that with his love for the Coyote and Road Runner and you have a fun little unit study on physics.  We started with a series of books by Suzanne Slade and Mark Weakland that teach about physical science (such things as laws of motion, states of matter, gravity and simple machines) using the failed attempts of the Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner.  There are four titles in the series:  Splat!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with States of Matter, Thud!: Wile E Coyote Experiments with Forces and Motion, Smash!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with Simple Machines, Zap!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with Energy.

I, Galileo by Bonnie ChristensenIsaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist, and…While there are many books you could add to this for a unit study we stuck mainly with biographies about scientists who discovered physical laws and principles.  As a family read aloud we read Isaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist and Teacher by John Hudson Tiner.  The Sower Series has some great biographies about men and women of God and this one is no exception.  I personally learned so much about Sir Isaac Newton and why he is and should be remembered today.

Come See the Earth Turn by Lori MortensenJeanne Bendick has written a pair of biographies that you will want to include for upper elementary students: Along Came Galileo and Archimedes and the Door of Science.  For younger children you can check out I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen (this is a wonderful picture book!) and Archimedes Takes a Bath and/or Archimedes and His Wonderful Discoveries (both of these are well worth reading and I've written about them here)

We included a picture book about Leon Foucault that I found in a clearance bin awhile back.  Who is Leon Foucault, you may wonder, well we did anyway!  Scientists believes knew that the earth turned on it's axis but were unable to prove it.  Foucault, through a very simple demonstration was able to prove this was true.  If you include this book in your homeschool study you might ask your children how they might be able to prove the earth was spinning.  Have them brainstorm ways to prove this is so and see what they come up with and then read this book and find out how Leon Foucalt did it in Come See the Earth Turn by Lori Mortensen.


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