Book 3: Sand Sack

What’s cooler than a geodesic tent? Igloos! (They have the same basic overall shape). Also cool: learning that the straight lines of their family tent’s triangles and an igloo’s square-ish blocks of snow are arranged to make surfaces that are rounded. What’s hot? Climbing sand dunes in summer. Mallory’s seven-year-old twin sister, Melody, enjoys the heat. Mallory? Not so much.

Mallory and his Dad head back down the dune while his Mom and sister continue their upward trek. In the shade of a small bush, Mallory discovers more than cooler sand as he settles into a little trench that his dog Rufus helped to dig. When Mallory and his father visit the local Indiana Dunes police station to turn in their find, they learn why some dunes are called “living.”

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:

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

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

The second outline 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.

 

Science Content: Entire Book 3, Sand Sack

Branches and sub-branches in Book 3:
  • Biology: Microbes/Bacteria; Plants; Animals; People
  • Chemistry: Molecules; Elements; Reactions; Forms; Functions
  • Physics: Heat and Temperature
  • Earth, Space Science: Geography; Geology; Environment, Astronomy
  • Math: Arithmetic; Geometry
  • Technology: Physics (Mechanics; Optics)
  • Engineering: Architecture (Physics; Math)

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

BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES
SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
BIOLOGY Life and living things
Microbes/Bacteria Bacteria that don’t need oxygen (anoxic)? Sure, those extremophiles living in bogs.
Plants Insect-eating plants get even by using insects for food
Don’t even try to walk directly on a bog (which is mostly sphagnum (peat) moss)
Quaking bogs shiver and shake when someone walks over them on a boardwalk
Animals The food chain isn’t made of metal
People The case for protecting eyes from the sun’s damaging rays
Oh, my aching muscles
CHEMISTRY Substances, their structure, behavior, interactions
Structure Make round, 3-D shapes, such as geodesic domes, using only triangles with straight lines; similar chemical structures are called Bucky Balls
Function pH: Bogs with sphagnum moss are acidic (pH 3-4) compared with water (pH 7)
PHYSICS Properties and nature of matter and energy
Heat, Temperature Water’s cooling effect: evaporation!
EARTH, SPACE SCIENCE Related to planet Earth and beyond
Geography Continents, countries, oceans and other waters, and their features
         Locations Indiana  Dunes, Mt. Baldy, Mississippi Palisades
Geology Earth’s physical structure, substance, history, processes
          Glaciers Melting ice masses (glaciers) scraped rock, creating sand
          Water table, bog Bogs get their water only from rain, not underground rivers or the water table
          Dunes Living dunes move over time; they also sing and squeak
Environment  Physical, chemical and biological conditions that  impact people, animals, plants and microbes
          Erosion
Natural, human impact
          Habitats People can preserve and restore natural homes of plants and animals
          Wind Plants bend and dunes move with the direction of the wind
Astronomy Why is daylight so much longer in the summer than in the winter?
MATH Numbers, quantities and analysis
Arithmetic Counting, adding multiplying
Geometry Can you arrange a bunch of triangles so they make a curve?
TECHNOLOGY Tools (products) and techniques using science
Physics: Mechanics Structures: Igloos, geodesic domes
Chemistry: Function Fuel cells vs. gasoline for cars
ENGINEERING Application of technology
Architecture  
Building sand castles: Wet or dry sand works better?

Sand Sack Humanities Content

Humanities Branches and sub-branches in Sand Sack:
  • Society: Government; Public Behavior
  • Language: Sounds and Spelling; Word Derivations; Traditional Sayings; Classic Literature
  • History: Times/Eras; Locations
  • Health: Aging; FEAST; Physical
  • Arts: Writing; Play on Words; Drawing; Singing;
  • Life Skills: Planning Ahead; Safety, Security, Privacy; Avoiding Disease; Outdoors; Observing Surroundings
  • Work/Careers; Role Models: Police Sergeant; Park Ranger

The left column of Sand Sack Table 2 highlights the major Humanities branches in light green, with their associated sub-branches indented below the major branch. The right column provides defintions of the major Humanities branches. Brief notes will give you an idea of the specific subjects and topics for each of the Humanities sub-branches.

Sand Sack TABLE 2: Humanities Content
BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
SOCIETY
Community, Culture and People
Government
Local police sergeant locks found items in a vault until owner is located, signs official statement
Public Behavior
Park rangers respond to impolite guest
LANGUAGE Means of communication
Sounds and Spelling 4 N 6? Mallory didn’t understand either! Forensics
Melody learns that animals prey on each other, not pray
Word Derivations Sol and stice (Latin) sun stopped (longest and shortest days); Equi equal and nox night (Latin)
Vernal (Latin) the spring season
Forensics (Latin) forum
Traditional Sayings Dad says, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”
“Nobody learns when they’re talking, only when they’re listening”
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”
“Where there’s life, there’s hope” (for improvement)
“Everyone out of the pool” What if there’s no pool?
“Finders keepers, losers weepers” mostly doesn’t apply
Classic Literature Dad compliments Mallory, calls him Sherlock
HISTORY Information about the past
Times/Eras Buried treasure, lost since the Great Depression
Locations The role glaciers played in forming Indiana Dunes
HEALTH Level of well-being
Aging Grandpa realizes his excess weight and little exercise is limiting his activities
FEAST The twins remember Mom’s Food Exercise Attitude Sleep Timing philosophy
Physical Sunglasses protect eyes from sun’s damaging effect
Going to bed at the same time is healthy, but not much fun when it’s still light outside
Muscles feel sore the day after unaccustomed exercise
ARTS Creative skills and their expression
Writing Mom’s poem is “almost as good as Dad’s”? “We all have poems in us,” Mom says
Play on Words Getting the family’s black labrador to wear sunglasses would make quite a spectacle
“Vernal means spring, and it’s time to SPRING into bed,” Mom says
Man-eating or boy-eating plants?
Drawing Drawing a geodesic dome tent helps to remember its shape
Sergeant shows how something buried near the base of a sand dune can be lost over time as winds cause the sand to shift
Ranger Ted draws a simple food chain for Melody
Dad draws dunes holding four colored pencils together
 Singing, Music What do “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” have in common?
Creating, Building Things Mom creates a clock calendar with each number representing a month and stickers to represent the four seasons
A sand castle challenge. Who will build the winner?
LIFE SKILLS Practical abilities for attending to everyday needs
Planning Ahead Setting up a new tent before a camping trip
Safety, Security, Privacy Sergeant agrees to Dad’s request for no publicity on the discovery for himself and his family
Avoiding Disease A Ranger assures Mom that local squirrels don’t carry rabies, but bats and woodchucks do
Outdoors Mallory wants to compare a Dunes tree graveyard with the one that the family saw at Yellowstone
Mallory discovers his map-reading skills
Observing Surroundings Bushes snag Rufus’s leash where Mallory couldn’t
WORK/CAREERS; ROLE MODELS
Productive activity to earn an income or give back to society
Police Sergeant Sergeant at a local police station
Park Ranger Park Rangers have many differet roles indoors and outdoors

 

Sand Sack Values/Behaviors Content

Values Branches and sub-branches in Sand Sack:
  • Morals/Ethics: Honesty/Truth; Doing the Right Thing
  • Emotions: Sense of Humor; Calm Reasoning; Competitiveness; Impetuousness; Awareness of Consequences; Serenity; Need for Recognition
  • Mind: Reasoning; Intuition; Sense of Wonder; Visualization
  • Body: Aging Well; Physical Health
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills: Acquiring Knowledge; Analytical Thinking; Sharing Knowledge; Eliciting Knowledge
  • People: Parental Responsibility; Judgmental; Concern for Others; Respect; Proper Assertiveness; Hospitality; Generosity
  • Planet: Research; Erosion; Respect for Earth, All Things Living on It
Sand Sack TABLE 3: Values/Behaviors Content
BRANCHES/SUB-BRANCHES DEFINITIONS; SUBJECTS AND TOPICS
MORALS/ETHICS
Internal character, beliefs
Honesty/Truth Mallory shows Dad why the rock was so interesting
Doing the Right Thing Dad tells Mallory they need to report his discovery to the local authorities
Mom says “finders keepers losers weepers” doesn’t apply
Dad will be discussing Mellory’s “heist” of the 9 lb rock with the Dunes’ police sergeant
EMOTIONS Feelings, sentiment, intuition
Sense of Humor Dad teases Mom about her advice to get more exercise
Mallory and Dad are happy that dogs don’t talk
Calm Reasoning Jumbled thoughts at first prevent Dad’s calm reasoning about what to do with Mallory’s unexpected “find”
Mallory’s questions bring Dad’s jumbled thoughts back to reality
Competitiveness Melody and Mallory both feel that their sibling knows something they don’t
Impetuousness Mallory races after Rufus, who bolts from his leash
Awareness of Consequences Mallory knows he’s in trouble when Dad finds the rock
Serenity Dad enjoys resting and enjoying the surroundings while Mallory cools off in moist sand
Need for Recognition A visitor rudely interrupts the park’s rangers program
MIND Rational, theoretical, analytical thinking
Reasoning Mallory wonders how something round can be made up with just straight lines
Mallory compares the dunes’ “tree graveyards” with Yellowstone’s, discovers dry and swampy kinds at the dunes
Mallory remembers that wet sand stays together; good for building sand castles
Intuition Grandpa’s mention of unexpected wind leads Melody to think Grandpa knows more than he lets on
Dad suspects what’s in the canvas sack that Mallory found buried in the sand
Sense of Wonder Melody wonders how the dunes got there
Visualization Melody thinks a food chain is a chain made out of food
BODY Health, bodily strengh and movement
Aging Well Grandpa knows he wouldn’t be able to climb dunes or be comfortable sleeping in a tent
Overall Health Mom’s “FEAST” is an easy path to good health
Exercise helps pump oxygen to your brain
LEARNING/KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS
Pursuit and acquisition of understanding, wisdom, capabilities
Acquiring Knowledge Mallory is impressed by the police seargent’s reasoning
Melody learns that bacteria can live in oxygen-less bogs
Mom and Dad encourage constant observing and learning
Analytical Thinking The police sergeant suspects why the canvas sack was buried in the dune
While Melody’s reasoning about bogs and water tables wasn’t quite right, she learns some new facts
Sharing Knowledge Grandpa says an igloo-shaped tent is more stable than other designs
Mom uses a clock and stickers to explain solstice
Mom and Dad explain how glaciers and wind made sand dunes
Melody learns from Ranger Lisa what makes a bog a bog
Mom and Dad help their twins understand human nature and how to react in certain situations
Mom tells Melody that different ways of writing poems help to understand your feelings
Eliciting Knowledge Mom shows the twins how to look at their tent’s design
Mom’s and Dad’s questions help understand how dunes become “living”
Dad helps Mallory figure out how trees died in the sand dunes
PEOPLE Regard for, and relationships with, humankind
Parental Responsibility “The reward is in doing the right thing,” Mallory’s Dad says when the sergeant suggests a reward
Oops. Dad forgets about poor Rufus in the hot car
Mom agrees with Dad’s privacy request to the sergeant
Mom encourages sharing reward, rather than competing, to making the biggest, best sand castle
Dad confronts Mallory about the big rock
Judgmental Attitude Mom says not to be critical when people’s choices may be different from your own
Melody softly calls her Dad and brother “wimps” when the dune gets too hot for them…but Mom hears
Concern for Others Dad hopes Grandpa would take better care of his health
Mom asks Dad how Mallory and Rufus are doing
Respect Mom thanks Ranger Lisa and moves on, noticing other guests waiting to learn about the bog
Proper Assertiveness An attendee at the park ranger program addresses a rude visitor
Gratitude Mallory thanks the sergeant for free ice cream coupons
Mom is touched that Grandpa selected a nearby place that is (kind of) similar to where she grew up
Hospitality Grandpa invites the Maloneys to dinner, and they bring Grandpa his own portable “salad garden” to grow his own healthy greens
Generosity Mallory gives his sister a small rock with holes the right size for pencils
Melody asks for an extra magnifier to give to her brother to investigate bugs and things
Mississippi Palisades is the site of Grandpa’s next monthly mini-vacation gift
PLANET Earth’s natural environment: living organisms, water, surface, subsurface, atmosphere
Research The Maloneys drive their new experimental fuel car to the Indiana Dunes
Erosion Walking on dunes causes sand to tumble down
Respect for Earth, All Things     Living on It Melody comforts a squirrel that escapes being lunch for a hawk
Melody changes her mind and agrees squirrels shouldn’t be kept in cages as pets

 

  • People: Parental Responsibility; Judgmental; Concern for Others; Respect; Proper Assertiveness; Hospitality; Generosity
  • Biosphere: Research; Erosion; Respect for Earth, All Things Living on It
Sand SackLIST 4: Combined STEM, Humanities and Values

Major Branches and Sub-branches Appearing in Sand Sack

SCIENCE HUMANITIES VALUES

BASIC

  • Biology
    • Microbes/Bacteria
    • Plants
    • Animals
    • People
  • Chemistry
    • Molecules
    • Elements
    • Reactions
    • Forms
    • Functions
  • Physics
  • Heat, Temperature
  • Earth, Space Science
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • Environment
    • Astronomy

HYBRID

  • Math
    • Arithmetic
    • Geometry

APPLIED

  • Technolgy
    • Structures: Physics
    • Fuels: Chemistry
  • Engineering
    • Architecture: Physics, Math

BASIC

  • Society
    • Government (Local)
    • Public Behavior
  • Language
    • Sounds and Spelling
    • Word Derivations
    • Traditional Sayings
    • Classic Literature
  • History
    • Locations
    • Times/Eras
  • Health
    •  Aging
    • FEAST
    • Physical

HYBRID

  • Arts
    • Writing
    • Play on Words
    • Drawing
    • Photography
    • Singing

APPLIED

  • Life Skills
    • Quick Response
    • Planning Ahead
    • Rules of Thumb
    • Resilience
  • Work, Careers
    • Geologist (Retired)
    • Police Sergeant
    • Software Engineer (Retired)
    • Air Force Pilot (Retired)
    • Welcome Center Staff
    • Tai Chi Instructor

BASIC

  • Morals/Ethics
    • Honesty/Truth
    • Doing the Right Thing
  • Emotions
    • Sense of Humor
    • Calm Reasoning
    • Competitiveness
    • Impetuousness
    • Awareness of Consequences
    • Serenity
    • Need for Recognition
  • Mind
    • Reasoning
    • Intuition
    • Sense of Wonder
    • Visualization
  • Body

    • Aging Well
    • Overall Health

HYBRID

  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Acquiring Knowledge

APPLIED

  • People
    • Parental Responsibiity
    • Judgmental
    • Concern for Others
    • Respect
    • Proper Assertiveness
    • Hospitality
    • Generosity
  • Planet
    • Research
    • Erosion
    • Respect for Earth, All Things Living on It
Sand Sack Table 4: Combined Science, Humanities and Values

Sand Sack Table 4 identifies Sand Sack content by chapter. Follow the links for further investigation. Links to child-friendly sites appear in orange.

CHAPTER: Page Numbers; RESOURCE LINKS
CHAPTER TITLES; Branches/Sub-Branches
Helpful Hints
Indiana Dunes
  • Earth, Space Science
    • Environment
    • Geology
    • Geography
Chapter 1: Pages 1-4
A Tent Shaped Like an Igloo
Twins Melody and Mallory discover that their dome-shaped tent is made from big and small triangles.

Buckminster Fuller 

  • Chemistry
    • Forms/Structures
  • Math
    • Geometry
  • Engineering
    • Buildings
    • Products
  • History
    • People
  • Health
    • Exercise
    • Food, Nutrition
    • Managing Weight
  • Work/Careers, Role Models
    • Software Development
  • Emotions
    • Sense of Humor
  • Mind
    • Reasoning
    • Intuition
  • Body

    • Aging Well
    • Physical Health
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
    • Eliciting Knowledge
  • People
    • Concern for Others
    • Judgmental
Chapter 2: Pages 5-11
Camping in the Sand
A clock has twelve hours, the year has twelve months: an easy way to remember the changing lengths of daytime, and the extremes of the solstice and equinox. 
  • Biology
    • People
  • Earth
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • Environment
    • Astronomy
  • Technology
    • Physics: Mechanics, Motion
  • Health
    • Avoiding Disease
    • Exercise
    • Physical Well-Being
  • Body
    • Physical Health
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
    • Eliciting Knowledge
  • People
    • Judgmental
  • Planet
    • Research
    • Erosion
Chapter 3: Pages 12-23
A Generations-Old Secret Uncovered
A “living” dune covers a long-buried sack and Rufus (good doggie) helps Mallory and his Dad dig it out. What do you think is in the sack?

Great Depression
Wind and Weather

  • Earth
    • Geology
  • Physics
    • Heat, Temperature, Pressure
  • Math
    • Arithmetic
  • Society
    • Government (local)
  • History
    • Times/Eras
  • Health
    • Physical Well Being
  • Life Skills
    • Safety, Security, Privacy
  • Morals/Ethics
    • Doing the Right Thing
  • Emotions
    • Sense of Humor
    • Calm Reasoning
    • Serenity
  • Mind
    • Intuition
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Acquiring Knowledge
    • Analytical Reasoning
  • People
    • Parental Responsibility
    • Concern for Others
    • Gratitude
Chapter 4: Pages 24-26
How Do Sand Dunes Happen?
Glaciers scraping rocks grind them to sand; over time, winds blow the sand into hills (dunes). The Maloney family enjoys an ice cream treat for doing the right thing. 

Glaciers

  • Earth
    • Geology
  • Emotions
    • Competitiveness
  • Mind
    • Sense of Wonder
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
  • People
    • Parental Responsibility
    • Generosity
Chapter 5: Pages 27-32
Spongy Ground and Bug-Eating Plants
Extremophile microbes can live in bogs, even with no oxygen available. Moss up to six feet thick covers the bog’s surface, making the boardwalk feel like you’re walking on a bouncy mattress.

Rabies information

  • Biology
    • Microbes/Bacteria
    • Plants
    • Animals
  • Chemistry
    • Functions
  • Health
    • Avoiding Disease
  • Mind
    • Visualization
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Acquiring Knowledge
    • Analytical Reasoning
    • Sharing Knowledge
  • People
    • Respect
  • Planet
    • Respect for Earth, All Things Living on It
Chapter 6: Pages 33-38
 Blowouts and Tree Graveyards
Mallory and his Dad learn that “tree graveyards” can be hollowed out areas with dry sand, or wet and marshy like the family saw in Yellowstone.
  • Earth
    • Environment
  • Language
    • Classic Literature
  • Life Skills
    • Outdoors Abilities
  • Emotions
    • Impetuousness
  • Mind
    • Reasoning
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Eliciting Knowledge
  • Planet
    • Respect for Earth, All Things Living on It
Chapter 7: Pages 39-42
 Learning about the Dunes (and even more about Human Nature)
After trading stories about what they learned about bogs and blowouts, the Maloney family learns how “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” during the evening Park Ranger program.
  • Earth
    • Environment
    • Geology
  • Society
    • Public Behavior
  • Emotions
    • Need for Recognition
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Acquiring Knowledge
    • Sharing Knowledge
  • People
    • Proper Assertiveness
    • Generosity
  • Planet
    • Preservation, Restoration, Protection
Chapter 8: Pages 43-46
 Aches and Pains
Walking along the sandy beach made “music” (except for Rufus: soft paws). A day to take it easy after climbing the dunes.

Wet Sand Is Sticky
Delayed Muscle Soreness

  • Engineering
    • Structures
  • Health
    • Pain and Injury
  • Arts
    • Drawing Techniques
  • Mind
    • Reasoning
  • People
    • Parental Responsibility
Chapter 9: Pages 47-51
A Rock is NOT a Stone
Mom writes a poem about singing sands; Mallory can’t resist the fascinating (heavy!) souvenir that he can examine more closely with the new magnifier his sister gave him.
  • Society

    • Public Behavior
  • Health
    • Food
    • Exercise
    • Sleep
  • Arts
    • Writing (poetry)
  • Life Skills
    • Gardening, Growing Things
  • Morals/Ethics
    • Honesty/truth
    • Doing the Right Thing
  • Learning/Knowledge/Skills
    • Sharing Knowledge
Next Adventure: Pages 52-54
 
The Maloney family discuss the rock cliffs they’ll visit next. Mallory and his Dad make a trip back to the State Park to learn the consequences of removing the nine-pound rock. 
  • Earth
    • Geography
  • Society
    • Government
    • Social Service