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.

Our main focus of BioFables is on illuminating STEM principles through entertaining stories. However, we need to emphasize that STEM knowledge and, especially, applying STEM  in the real world require a balancing Humanities perspective. Science and Humanities represent the two sides of practical human learning, left-brain (analytical) and right-brain (creative).

This is why we are building several tools to help you determine the value of each BioFables book’s STEM and Humanities content in selecting which BioFables books to give to your young readers:

    • Table of all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Knowledge Gateways, Subjects and Topics
    • Tables of all Humanities and Values Knowledge Gateways, Subjects and Topics
    • Table of STEM and Humanities learning topics by Chapter

The first table presents a summary of all the STEM  Knowledge Gateways (or branches, if you prefer), Subjects and Topics occuring in Whoosh. This will give you an overvew of the entire book’s STEM lessons that are woven into the Whoosh story.

The second table provides the same information for the Humanities lessons.

The table of STEM and Humanities places the combined learning topics into the specific chapter where it occurs. We’re in the process of updating each book’s topic reference tables. The table shows the breadth of each book’s content, identified by chapter. Subjects and topics of the middle column appear in  bold, followed by abbreviated versions of their Knowledge Gateway(s) in parentheses. The table should be helpful in discussing each book as your children progress through the chapters. Follow the links for further investigation. Child-friendly sites appear in orange.

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

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 build these resources for you.

STEM Content: Entire Book 1, Whoosh

Branches and sub-branches in Book 1:
  • 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.

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


The following table identifies Whoosh content by chapter. Subjects and topics of the middle column appear in  bold, followed by abbreviated versions of their Knowledge Gateway(s) in parentheses. Follow the links for further investigation. Child-friendly sites appear in orange.



Helpful Hints

Chapter 1
Old Faithful = “Old Faceful?”

Geysers (Earth, Space Science) Old Faithful Area
Geysers at Yellowstone

Chapter 2
Old Faithful Behaves

Food and nutrition; Tai Chi exercises (Health); Microbes/bacteria (Biology); Wyoming and Chicago (Earth) Microorganisms

Chapter 3
Bubbling Along the Boardwalk

Paint pots; mud pots; geysers (Earth);  Sounds and spelling (Language)

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

Chapter 5
All Steamed Up

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

Chapter 6
How Hot Is Hot?

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

Chapter 7
Living Thermometers

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

Chapter 8
pH? What’s That?

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

Chapter 9
Telling Grandpa Mike about Yellowstone

Gratitude (Values)

Chapter 10
Next Adventure