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
||SUBJECTS AND TOPICS|
|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)|
Door County Memories
|Eyesight, cataracts (Health)|
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|
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|
A Fish Story
|Moonlight reflecting on water (Physics); Animal behavior; Catfish (Biology); Fishing (Life Skills)|
A Fishier Story
|Dr. Doolittle; Drawing (Arts); Animal behavior (Biology)|
A Fun Way to Weigh
|Using teeter-totter to estimate weight; Newton’s Laws of Motion; Force, distance & weight; Insects riding wind currents (Physics); Dragonflies; (Biology); Play on words (Language)||Record insect migration distance|
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|
A Fishy Surprise
|Determining true weight (Physics); How to eat fish with lots of bones (Life Skills)|
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)|
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)|