|1. Do some poetry writing with your kids. Poetry focuses thought and attention on aspects of life that might go by unnoticed. Kids can try writing rhyming verse or free verse. The idea is to say as much as possible with as few words as possible. I quote the poems I wrote as a child to "level the playing field." When kids see the kinds of things I once wrote I become one of them. If I want to be a "Pied Piper" I must prove to the kids that I speak "child" and my childhood poem establishes that connection. It can also inspire them to try their hand at it.
2. Read aloud the pages from This Place Is Wild about gorilla trekking or the Masai. Discuss how the words and pictures add or detract from what they know of my real experiences from the video tape.
3. Feeling Your Way has a number of activities for exploring the sense of touch. Kids might want to try cutting up their name cards to try the two-point illusion on their cheek. Also, there is an interesting touch illusion in See for Yourself on page 18.
4. How to Really Fool Yourself has a number of fun illusions for all the senses. It also has a list of great stuff to feel like the "moose brains." You might want to share the last chapter "Great Misconceptions" with kids in the older grades. These include: "The earth is flat," "The earth is the center of the universe," "Objects come to rest in their natural place," and "Heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones."
5. My series on "Discovering Your Senses" contains some unusual hands-on experience with all five senses. The role of science is to bring aspects of the physical world, which are outside the limits of our senses, into them. It is also a way of getting past prejudices that come from everyday experience.
6. Why Doesn't the Earth Fall Up explores some of the laws of motion. It's a good idea to copy a page with the question on it and have kids think up their own answers as homework. Then they'll be ready to find out the real answer to the question as I explain it in the book.
6. You might want to explore the angle of the sun's rays at noon depending on the latitude. How does a sundial or a gnomon tell time? How does the angle of the sun's rays change with the season? Why don't they ever change at the equator?
7. The first time the words "I am an exceedingly interesting person" flew out of my mouth the sixth grade teachers told me that some of their girls had noticed it. They thought it was unusual for a woman to say something affirmative about herself in public. I have kept those words in the program particularly since many recent studies say that girls lose self-esteem as they hit puberty. The rate of attrition of girls in math and science in high school is higher than boys. You might want to have a discussion about the role of women in science with girls in the older grades.
8. There are a number of experiments in some of my books with Kathy Darling that reinforce the concept of stability (relationship between center of gravity and the base) I introduced during the program. These are:
In Bet You Can't! Pages 14-19
In Bet You Can! Page 87
In Don't Try This at Home! Pages 44-45
9. Air pressure pushed the piece of paper into the bottle. Other experiments with air pressure are:
In Bet You Can't! Pages 46-53
In Bet You Can! Pages 64,65.
In You Gotta Try This! Page 86
10. Here are some other applications of Bernoulli's Principle:
In Bet You Can't! Pages 56-59
In Bet You Can! Page 74
In You Gotta Try This! Page 91
11. Some other examples of how hot air rises including the "Flying Tea Bag:"
In Don't Try This at Home! pages 28-29
In You Gotta Try This! pages 92-93
In Bet You Can! Page 76
12. If the kids thought the polyethylene bag was interesting, there are some experiments on plastic in:
See for Yourself pages 63-65.