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.

Science Content Book 6: Catch of the Day

Science 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
BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES
DEFINITIONS, SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
BIOLOGY Life and living things
Plants
     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 have diferent, specific health value
PHYSICS Properties and nature of matter and energy
Mechanics
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

Catch of the Day Humanities Content

Humanities Branches and sub-branches in Catch of the Day:
  • Society: Social Relationships; Government
  • Language: Word Derivations; Classic Literature; Traditional Sayings
  • History: Locations
  • Health: Aging
  • Arts: Writing; Play on Words; Drawing; Artistry Everywhere; Dance
  • Life Skills: Outdoors; Estimating Weight; Food; Resilience, Adaptability
  • Work/Careers; Role Models: Farm Property Caretaker
Catch of the Day TABLE 2: Humanities Content
BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES DEFINITIONS, SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
SOCIETY
Community, Culture and People
Social Relationships Keeping in touch with new friends
Grandpa thanks his friend for the use of his land, tells of small discovery during their stay
Government Mallory’s discovery of the buried sack at the Dunes is now his
LANGUAGE Means of communication
Word derivations Plants with lutein (Latin) are usually yellow
Classic Literature “Little” Dr. Dolittle (Mallory) communicates with fish
Traditional Sayings “Watch the grass grow” Not the twins’ idea of fun
HISTORY Information about the past
Locations Grandpa is a bit mysterious about the family’s October visit to Duluth, Minnesota
HEALTH Level of well-being
Aging Grandpa decides to get his cataracts removed and his vision back to normal
ARTS Creative skills and their expression
Writing The twins write a “Motion Poem” about some laws of physics
Play on Words Mom calls Melody’s dive a “fluid movement”
The sports equipment in the shed will shed light on physics
It’s bad taste to refuse a gift of food
Drawing Mallory quickly draws the fish he caught before it becomes dinner
Artistry Everywhere Mom arranges a beautiful salad, complete with edible flowers
Dance Square dancing and much more await the family in October
LIFE SKILLS Practical abilities for attending to everyday needs
Outdoors Abilities Knowing the best times to fish, reeling in a fish, removing a fish hook from your catch, preparing your catch and cooking it
Is your bass a largemouth or small mouth? Look to its fins
Wearing life vests
Avoiding “wet dog” struggle to lift out of water
If you can’t see a lake’s bottom, it’s probably deep enough for diving (but make sure of that)
Dad’s dive impresses his children
Plants reveal their identity to the twins through their leaves
Ability to Estimate Two sacks of different weight, a board and something to balance it on, and you’ve got yourself a primitive scale
Don’t forget to subtract the weight of your basket (tare)
Food Too many green tomatoes? Make soup!
Know where to look to find the “string” in some string beans
The tough sheath of many string beans resist cooking
Nasturtium flowers in a vase and on your plate
Resilience, Adaptability Knowing more than one way to solve an arithmetic problem
WORK/CAREERS; ROLE MODELS
Productive activity to earn an income or give back to society
Farm Property Caretaker Mr. Anderson made sure the buildings and grounds were ready for the family’s visit, visits them during their stay

Catch of the Day Values/Behaviors Content

Values Branches and sub-branches in Catch of the Day:
  • Emotions: Courage; Competitiveness
  • Mind: Reasoning
  • Body: Balance/Stability
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills: Exploration, Observation, Discovery; Practice; Sharing Knowledge; Eliciting Knowledge
  • People: Concern for Others; Keeping in Touch; Keeping in Touch; Parental Responsibility; Helpfulness; Respect; Gratitude
  • Planet: Respect for Earth, Living Environment; Appreciation for Nature’s Beauty; Insights into Animal Behavior; Insights into Plant Behavior
Catch of the Day TABLE 3: Values/Behaviors Content

 

BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES DEFINITIONS; SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
EMOTIONS Feelings, sentiment, intuition
Courage “I did it!” Mallory’s knees were shaking, but his first-ever dive energized him
Competitiveness Mallory’s feeling of superiority over his “sissy sister” is short-lived
MIND Rational, theoretical, analytical thinking
Reasoning Splash! “Maybe some fish are acrobats,” Dad thinks
BODY
Health, bodily strengh and movement
Balance/Stability The diving board is a little scary to Mallory
LEARNING/KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS
Pursuit and acquisition of understanding, wisdom, capabilities
Exploration, Observation, Discovery A water trampoline demonstrates Newton’s three laws of physics
Practice A fun way to learn to dive: a diving board and a water trampoline
Sharing Knowledge Mr. Anderson, the caretaker, shares his knowledge of dragonflies
Mr. Anderson demonstrates how an old-fashioned scale is handy for weighing garden goodies
The twins learn there’s more than one way to figure out how ounces and pounds add up
Eliciting Knowledge Mr. Anderson uses tennis balls, shuttlecocks and baseballs to demonstrate laws of physics
Tomatoes growing on a bean vine? Mom asks the twins questions to help understand what’s happening
PEOPLE Regard for, and relationships with, humankind
Concern for Others Melody tells Grandpa she knows he didn’t sprain his ankle on purpose
“Dont do a belly flop; just dive feet first,” Grandpa encourages Mallory’s first board dive
Keeping in Touch Friends from last adventure email a photo and note saying hello
Parental Responsibility Mom warns the twins not to go into the water when they run ahead to find the pond
“No vest, no boat, no water trampoline,” Mom says
Helpfulness Everyone pitches in with lunch preparation
The landowner provided two large grills and a note about bags of charcoal, other grilling needs in the storage area
Respect Someone went through a lot of trouble to make us feel at home, Mom thinks, about the cabin furnishings
The family makes sure everything is in order before they leave, while Mom carefully cleans up the shiny object found in the innards of the big fish they caught and grilled
The twins want to play a trick on Grandpa; Mom quickly puts an end to the idea, although Dad doesn’t disapprove
Gratitude Mom calls caretaker, thanking him for offer to call if they need anything
Mom graciously accepts caretake’s offer of tomatoes, even though they have plenty of their own
PLANET Earth’s natural environment: living organisms, water, surface, subsurface, atmosphere
Respect for Earth, Living Environment Landowner asks the family to return any small fish caught while fishing
Why is the catfish so reluctant to swim away after Dad releases it from fishing net ?
Melody releases all her little fish: “They didn’t look happy all cfowded together
Appreciation for Nature’s Beauty Clusters of wildflowers brighten up the cleared area of the farm property
Insights into Animal Behavior Most people believe catfish don’t jump, nor do they try to communicate with humans
Bees investigate Melody’s ears, but return to the flowers when they don’t find pollen
The landowner thinks the nighttime splashing might have been the large bass instead of the catfish
Insights into Plant Behavior Mom explains how over-ripe green beans can be saved for next year’s crop
Smiling and frowning tomatoes? Sure! Check the undersides of your garden tomatoes

 

Catch of the Day LIST 4: Combined Science, Humanities and Values/Behaviors

Major Branches and Sub-branches Appearing in Catch of the Day

Science HUMANITIES VALUES/BEHAVIORS

BASIC

  • Biology
    • Plants
    • Insects
    • Animals
  • Chemistry
    • Function
  • Physics
    • Mechanics
  • Earth, Space Science
    • Geology
    • Environment

HYBRID

  • Math
    • Arithmetic

APPLIED

  • Technolgy
    • Physics: Mechanics (Platform Scale, Water Pump, Self-Inflating Devices)
  • Engineering

BASIC

  • Society
    • Social Relationships
    • Government (Local)
  • Language
    • Word Derivations
    • Traditional Sayings
    • Classic Literature
  • History
    • Locations
  • Health
    • Aging

HYBRID

  • Arts
    • Writing
    • Play on Words
    • Drawing
    • Artistry Everywhere
    • Dance

APPLIED

  • Life Skills
    • Outdoors Abilities
    • Ability to Estimate
    • Food
    • Resilience, Adaptability
  • Work, Careers
    • Farmm Property Caretaker

BASIC

  • Emotions
    • Courage
    • Competitiveness
  • Mind
    • Reasoning
  • Body
    • Balance/Stability

HYBRID

  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Exploration, Observation, Discovery
    • Sharing Knowledge
    • ElicitingKnowledge

APPLIED

  • People
    • Concern for Others
    • Keeping in Touch
    • Parental Responsibiity
    • Helpfulness
    • Respect
    • Gratitude
  • Planet
    • Respect for Earth, All Things Living on It
    • Appreciation for Nature’s Beauty
    • Insights into Animal Behavior
    • Insights into Plant Behavior
Catch of the Day TABLE 4: Combined Science, Humanities and Values/Behaviors
CHAPTER: Page Numbers; RESOURCE LINKS CHAPTER TITLES; SUBJECTS/TOPICS
Helpful Hints
 
  • Math
    • Non-Digital Math
Chapter 1
Door County Memories
Friendly greetings from new friends made at Door County’s Washington Island; learning why Grandpa wants to have an operation to correct his failing eyesight.
  • Health
    • Physical Well-Being
  • People
    • Concern for Others
    • Keeping in Touch
Chapter 2
Exploring “Loch Land”
An air-filled platform you can sit in (and use as a water trampoline), and an air-filled vest you wear. Both float in the water. 

Loch Ness

  • Biology
  • `Plants
  • Physics
    • Mechanics
  • Earth
    • Geology
  •  Technology
    • Water Pumps
  • Life Skills
    • Outdoors Abilities
  • Emotions
    • Courage
  • People
    • Parental Responsibility
    • Helpfulness
    • Respect
  • Planet
    • Respect for Earth, Living Environment
    • Appreciation for Nature’s Beauty
Chapter 3 A Water Raft = Newton’s Laws of Motion?
A surprised Mallory and Melody catch some air and make a big splash when 70-pound Rufus does a doggie dive from the towing boat to the water trampoline.

Laws of Motion

  • Physics
    • Mechanics: Motion, Force
  • Language
    • Play on Words
  • Life Skills
    • Overcoming Fear
  • Body
    • Balance/Stability
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Exploration, Observation, Discovery
    • Practice
  • People
    • Concern for Others
Chapter 4 A Fish Story
Splashing in the night. Could it be the pond’s version of the Loch Ness Monster? Or is it just an ordinary fish having some fun in the moonlight?
  • Biology
    • Animals
  • Physics
    • Optics
  • Life Skills
    • Outdoors Abilities
  • People
    • Helpfulness
    • Gratitude
  • Planet
    • Respect for Earth, Living Environment
Chapter 5
A Fishier Story
Can a fish actually want to be caught? Mallory thinks so. Especially when a big catfish seems to lead you to the middle of the pond, where another fish waits for his baited pole.
  • Biology
    • Animals
  • Language
    • Classical Literature
  • Arts
    • Drawing
  • Mind
    • Reasoning
  • Planet
    • Respect for Earth, Living Environment
Chapter 6 A Fun Way to Weigh
Flying fish takes on a whole new meaning when a heavy sack gets dropped on the opposite end of a plank.

Record insect migration distance

  • Biology
    • Insects
  • Physics
    • Mechanics
    • Gravity
  • Language
    • Play on Words
  • Emotions
    • Competitiveness
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
    • Eliciting Knowledge
Chapter 7 An Old-Fashioned Way to Weigh

Both the easy way and the harder way to convert ounces to pounds come up with the same answer. It helps to know more than one way to solve a math problem.

Small & large mouth bass

  • Biology
    • Plants
    • Animals
  • Math
    • Counting
    • Arithmetic
  • Technology
    • Platform Scales
  • Language
    • Play on Words
  • Life Skills
    • Household
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
  • People
    • Respect
    • Gratitude
 Chapter 8  A Fishy Surprise

Mom prepares Mallory’s catch for grilling and finds an interesting object in the fish’s belly. No wonder it wanted to be caught!

  • Physics
    • Mechanics: Force
  • Life Skills
    • Food, Eating
  • People
    • Respect
  • Planet
    • Insights into Animal Behavior
Chapter 9   How Gardens Do Grow

Garden beans that grew too much and got too tough to eat? Don’t waste them! Save their seeds and plant them for a brand new (and free) crop next year.

  • Biology
    • Plants
  • Life Skills
    • Gardening, Growing Things
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Eliciting Knowledge
  • People
    • Respect
  • Planet
    • Insights into Animal Behavior
    • Insights into Plant Behavior
Chapter 10   Some Answers; Next Adventure

The Maloneys learn who hid the money sack that Mallory found buried in the sand and the Indiana Dunes. Whose property is it now?

  • Biology
    • Plants
    • Animals
  • Chemistry
    • Organic/Biochemistry
  • Physics
    • Mechanics: Motion, Force
  • Language
    • Word Meanings
  • Health
    • Food, Nutrition
  • Arts
    • Writing
  • Life Skills
    • Budgeting, Managing Money
    • Resilience, Adaptability
  • Planet
    • Insights into Animal Behavior
    • Insights into Plant Behavior