Book 6: Catch of the Day

An end-of-summer weekend at a friend’s “swimming hole” in the middle of farmland doesn’t sound particularly exciting. Except for a mysterious splashing in the night, that is. Swimming doesn’t bring to mind exciting lessons in physics, either. Except when you factor into the equation a water trampoline and a dog. 

What secret does an eleven-pound largemouth bass reveal as it’s cleaned for grilling? For that matter, what fun surprises await in the family garden when they return home?


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, Humanities and Values 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 Catch of the Day. This will give you an overvew of the entire book’s STEM lessons that are woven into the Catch of the Day story.

The second and third tables provide the same information for the Humanities lessons.

The table of STEM, Humanities and Values 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 6, Catch of the Day

Branches and sub-branches in Book 6:
  • Biology: Plants; Insects; Animals
  • Chemistry: Function
  • Physics: Mechanics
  • Earth, Space Science: Geology; Environment
  • Math: Arithmetic;
  • Technology: Physics: Mechanics
BIOLOGY Life and living things
          Life cycle Pollination -> seed -> plant -> flower -> fruit -> seed
Harvest season: generally September to December in Illinois
          Leaves Compare different seedling leaves to learn which plant they will become
          Edible crops Soy, tomatoes…flowers? Yes! Edible flowers with valuable nutrients
     Insects Dragonflies have figured it out: ride wind currents to go where they couldn’t go on their own power
Bees are part of plant life cycle: they pollinate as they buzz around flowers
     Animals Is it a cat or a fish? Catfish head shape and their whiskers suggest their name
Differences between largemouth and smallmouth bass (besides the obvious)
CHEMISTRY Substances, their structure, behavior, interactions
     Function Plant ingredients with specific health value
PHYSICS Properties and nature of matter and energy
Motion and Force
  Child’s play: remembering all three Newton’s Laws of Motion
  How far will a ball fly? Force and weight come into play
  Water trampoline inflates by “breathing” in the air around it.
  Use a teeter totter for a fun way to weigh (estimated)
  Check your estimate of an object’s weight with an accurate scale
EARTH, SPACE SCIENCE Related to planet Earth and beyond
     Geology A farm’s natural pond made by an underground spring
     Environment  Physical, chemical and biological conditions that  impact people, animals, plants and microbes
          Conservation Using non-disposable utensils to avoid unnecessary waste
MATH Numbers, quantities and analysis
    Arithmetic Why learn when apps are everywhere? Except when your battery reads “0”
Your choice: complicated or easy ways to get to the same number
Changing ounces to pounds, other helpful conversions
TECHNOLOGY Tools (products) and techniques using science
     Physics: Mechanics Even Lady Justice uses a (double) platform scale
Pumping water from underground is a lot more fun than turning a faucet handle
Self-inflating devices “inhale” surrounding air instead of from your own lungs

NOTE: Tables of Humanities and Values content for Catch of the Day are being prepared and will  be uploaded as soon as we can.


Helpful Hints Why learn when apps are everywhere? (Math)
Chapter 1
Door County Memories
Eyesight, cataracts (Health)
Chapter 2
Exploring “Loch Land”
Spring-fed pond; Harvest season; Using non-disposable utensils (Earth); Uses for soy (Biology, Engineering, Health); Best time to catch fish (Life Skills); Water pumps (Technology); Self-inflating devices (Physics) Loch Ness
Chapter 3
A Water Trampoline = Newton’s Laws of Motion?
Newton’s Laws of Motion (Physics); Imagery to overcome fear (Life Skills); Play on words (Language) Laws of Motion
Chapter 4
A Fish Story
Moonlight reflecting on water (Physics); Animal behavior; Catfish (Biology); Fishing (Life Skills)
Chapter 5
A Fishier Story
Dr. Doolittle; Drawing (Arts); Animal behavior (Biology)
Chapter 6
A Fun Way to Weigh
Using teeter-totter to estimate weight; Newton’s Laws of Motion; Force, distance & weightInsects riding wind currents (Physics); Dragonflies; (Biology); Play on words (Language) Record insect migration distance
Chapter 7
An Old-Fashioned Way to Weigh
Types of bass fish; Tomatoes (Biology); Platform scale (Technology); Using weights and measures (Life Skills); Multiplying; Counting; Division; Converting measures (Math, Life Skills); Gratitude; Politeness; Respect (Values); Play on words (Language) Small & large mouth bass
Chapter 8
A Fishy Surprise
Determining true weight (Physics); How to eat fish with lots of bones (Life Skills)
Chapter 9
How Gardens Do Grow
Gardening; Soil preparation; Observation (Life Skills); Plant seeds; pollination; plant leaves; plant life cycle; (Biology); Playing tricks on family members (Social, Values)
Chapter 10
Some Answers; Next Adventure
Animal behavior; Edible flowers (Biology); Respect (Values); Nutrition (Health); Money value; Willingness to try something new (Life Skills); Plant ingredients with health value (Chemistry); Word meaning (Language); Writing poetry (Arts); Newton’s Laws (Physics)