Book 1: Whoosh

NewFrontCover“Race ya.”
 The sun was barely peeking over the horizon at Yellowstone National Park when Melody shouted this unexpected challenge to her twin brother Mallory.
 “No fair. You got a head start!”
 A head start was exactly what Melody had in mind. She wanted to make sure Mallory didn’t reach Old Faithful before she did. (He didn’t)

If 7-year-old Melody Maloney had been standing anywhere else or Geyser Eruptionat any other time, this would have been an ordinary adventure story. But nature has a way of behaving that doesn’t always follow the rules.

What happens when the Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone decides to misbehave? Melody and her twin brother Mallory find out, but no one believes them.

Want to make things even more interesting? Learn about taking the BioFables Challenge.

We are building several tools to help you determine the value of each BioFables book’s three learning categories (STEM, Humanities and Values) content for selecting which BioFables books to give to your young readers. While our main focus of BioFables is on illuminating STEM principles through entertaining stories, applying STEM  in the real world requires a balancing perspective of Humanities studies and one’s internal Values. (Science and Humanities represent the two sides of practical human learning:left-brain, or analytical, and right-brain, or creative)

  • Whoosh Table 1 is the combined STEM, Humanities and Values content for Whoosh (Book 1), by chapter.
  • Whoosh Table 2 shows the STEM content for Whoosh. An at-a-glance bulleted list above Whoosh Table 2 offers a quick look at the branches in bold, followed by their sub-branches appearing in Whoosh. The table itself shows the specific subjects and topics within each major branch and sub-branch.
  • Whoosh Table 3 shows the Humanities content for Whoosh. An at-a-glance bulleted list above Whoosh Table 3 offers a quick look at the branches in bold, followed by their sub-branches appearing in Whoosh. The table itself shows the specific subjects and topics within each major branch and sub-branch.
  • Whoosh Table 4 will show the Values content for Whoosh. An at-a-glance bulleted list above Whoosh Table 4 will offer a quick look at the branches in bold, followed by their sub-branches appearing in Whoosh. The table itself will show the specific subjects and topics within each major branch and sub-branch.

Please be aware that subjects and topics are unique to each book, so the following outlines do not reflect a complete list of subjects and topics within any category.

Thanks for your patience as we finish building these resources for you.

NOTE: Tables of Humanities and Values content for Whoosh are being prepared and will  be uploaded as soon as possible.

Whoosh Table 1 is designed to be helpful in discussing each book as your children progress through the chapters. The left column shows the Chapter number, followed by the chapter’s title in green and a quick chapter overview in brown. The middle column shows the chapter’s general Subjects and Topics in bold italics, followed by their major knowledge branches in (parentheses). The right column provides and some links to relevant sites for further investigation, with child-friendly sites in orange.

Whoosh TABLE 1: Combined STEM, Humanities and Values


Helpful Hints

Chapter 1:
Old Faithful = “Old Faceful?”

Geysers (Earth, Space Science) Family relationships (Sociology) Old Faithful Area
Geysers at Yellowstone
It felt warm and wonderful when “Old Faceful” steam surrounded Melody, but even a few stray droplets stung and left red spots her twin brother’s bare skin.
Chapter 2
Old Faithful Behaves
Food and nutrition; Tai Chi exercises (Health); Microbes/bacteria (Biology); Wyoming and Chicago (Earth) Microorganisms

Mom’s graceful yoga “dance” keeps time with the erupting geyser, with Mom and geyser both earning the applause of other visitors.

Chapter 3
Bubbling Along the Boardwalk

Paint pots; mud pots; geysers (Earth);  Sounds and spelling (Language)
A nature trail like no other…bubbles and burps, hissing and splashing… unexpected colors that belonged to fields of wild flowers, not water and mud.

Chapter 4
Nature: A Closer Look

Drawing (Arts); Geysers; Hot springs; Fumeroles; Paint pots; Volcanoes; Caldera (Earth); Hydrogen sulfide (Chemistry); Word derivations; Classic poetry (Language) Geysers (Wikipedia)
How Volcanoes Work
Types of Yellowstone Geysers

Dr. Ethyl reveals some of the mystery of what’s going on just under the boardwalk as the Maloney family walks the planks a second time.

Chapter 5
All Steamed Up

Water molecules; Steam (Chemistry); Comparing big and little things (Math)

Water and steam: same H2O. BUT…how about that huge difference in distance between water and steam molecules?

Chapter 6
How Hot Is Hot?

Geysers; Mud pots (Earth); Heat; Pressure; Temperature (Physics); Classic books; Writing/singing; Poems (Language)

Water, boiling water, steam, superheated water: geysers have all these forms of H2O, but that’s not all. Dr. Ethyl starts with Mallory’s diagram of an underground teapot to explain how geysers work.

Chapter 7
Living Thermometers

Bacteria; Extremophiles; Plant metabolism (Biology); Humor (Values); Word derivations (Language); Microscopes (Technology); Creativity (Life Skills) Extremophiles (Wikipedia)

Could anything live in these brightly colored, steaming water? Would you believe microbes, their colors revealing how hot they prefer their baths?

Chapter 8
pH? What’s That?

pH; Elements (Chemistry);  Dreams for the future (Work) What is pH?

It’s not only heat that these extremophile microbes love, it’s also the extreme acidity or alkalinity (the other side of the acidity scale).

Chapter 9
Telling Grandpa Mike about Yellowstone

Gratitude (Values)

Reviewing some of what they learned at Yellowstone with Grandpa Mike, the twins accidentally reveal Melody’s extremophile-like experience.

Chapter 10
Next Adventure

The twins look forward to “meeting” lots of animals, Mom’s cousin who runs a family farm and driving a special experimental car to Southern Illinois.

Whoosh STEM Content

Branches and sub-branches in Whoosh:
  • Biology: Microbes/Bacteria; Plants
  • Chemistry: Structure; Function
  • Physics: Heat and Temperature
  • Earth, Space Science: Geology; Geography
  • Math: Measurements; Comparisons
  • Technology: Physics (Optics)

Specific subjects and topics appear in the right column, next to their respective branches and sub-branches.

Whoosh TABLE 2: STEM Content
BIOLOGY Life and living things
     Microbes/Bacteria Living thermometers: Extremophile colors show hot spring temperature
     Plants Converting daylight to energy through photosynthesis
CHEMISTRY Substances, their structure, behavior, interactions
    Structure What is that awful smell? Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
Same water elements (H2O), different states: liquid, gas (steam) [solid (ice)]
     Function pH: Chemical condition of a solution, from 0 to 14 (H2O = 7, neutral)
PHYSICS Properties and nature of matter and energy
     Heat, pressure What do guysers and pressure cookers have in common? Superheated steam!
EARTH, SPACE SCIENCE Related to planet Earth and beyond
     Geology Earth’s physical structure, substance, history, processes
          Geysers What are geyser ingredients? H2O, molten rock (magma), cracks in solid rock
          Hot springs Don’t put your brushes into these paint pots, plan a fun fight in these mud pots, or enjoy a steam bath in a fumerole!
          Volcanoes, calderas Volcano: A mountain or hill with a vent that allows hot lava, rock and gases to erupt from the earth’s crust; after the eruption, a collapse causes a depression or caldera
     Geography Continents, countries, oceans and other waters, and their features
          Wyoming, Chicago Yellowstone is about 1,400 miles west/northwest of Chicago by road and about 1190 by air
MATH Numbers, quantities and analysis
     Measurements Size, length and amount, either actual or estimated
     Comparisons Rules of thumb help to relate big and little things
TECHNOLOGY Tools (products) and techniques using science
     Physics: Optics You can see things with a microscope that are otherwise invisible

NOTE: The Whoosh Humanities table is not yet complete and the Whoosh Values table is being prepared. These will  be modified and uploaded as soon as possible.

Whoosh Humanities Content

Branches and sub-branches in Whoosh:
  • Language: Sounds and Spelling; Word Derivation; Classic Books and Literature
  • History: Locations
  • Arts: Writing; Singing; Ideas
  • Health: Exercise
  • Work, Careers: Dreams for the Future; Various employment
Whoosh TABLE 3: Humanities Content
Language Means of communication
     Sounds and spelling Guy Sir or geyser? Are there Gal Ma’ams? (Guys and, um Gals?)
     Word derivation Celestine Pool looks celestial blue
Cyanobacter microbes are named from Greek color greenish-blue
Geothermal: Geo (earth) thermal (heat); Greek “earth heat”
Caldera (circular indentation in the ground): from Spanish cauldron or large circular pot
Extremeophile microbes love temperature extremes
     Classic Books, literature “Fire burn and cauldron bubble” (Macbeth: Shakespeare)
King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Knights of the Round Table
HISTORY Information about the past
   Location Yellowstone: World’s first National Park, established in 1872
ARTS Creative skills and their expression, as demonstrated in BioFables
   Writing Writing new words to familiar tunes
     Singing What do “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” have in common?
      Ideas A color-coded thermometer to identify extremophile bacteria presence
Naming a small geyser Sir Splashalot
HEALTH Level of well-being
    Exercise Doing Tai Chi in time with eruptions of “Old Faceful
WORK, CAREERS Productive activity to earn an income or give back to society
    Dreams for the future 7-year-old Melody Maloney: Music, Biologist
Melody’s twin brother Mallory: Explorer
     Other family members Agnes Maloney (Mom): Tai Chi Instructor, Wellness Guide
Mort Maloney (Dad): Food Chemist
Mike Maloney (Grandpa): Retired software engineer, developer
     People in supporting roles Dr. Ethyl A. Shun: Microbiologist studying extremophiles

Whoosh Values Content

Whoosh TABLE 4: Values Content