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Science Scope, January, 2000
"Soaring through the Universe is a teacher activity and reference book that provides an abundance of ideas for integrating science across the curriculum.  Specifically, the author has chosen both fiction and nonfiction children's books to serve as a springboard for teaching astronomy.

Although this book is appropriate for grades three through six, if offers integration suggestions that can be used at the middle level as well.  Topics include the Sun, Moon, stars and light, gravity, and motion in space.  Integration ideas include using poetry, fiction and nonfiction to learn about science, technology, and society issues.  each chapter begins with a brief overview of motivational activities, which set the stage for learning.  Background information, additional resources, supplementary activities, and reproducible worksheets are also included.

Soaring through the Universe is a great techer's aid because the information is well organized and concise.  I found it to be extremely helpful in both planning and expanding astronomy-related units."
Christina Anne Royce

Library Talk (November/December,1999) --
"This resource helps educators incorporate literature and science in their lesson plans.  The first five chapters are fully developed lesson plans that use poems and stories to introduce the sun, moon, stars, planets, and space travel to upper elementary students.  Each chapter lists the necessary materials for each activity and explains the concept behind the project.  The book includes both full-text stories and an extensive bibliography.  The sun chapter includes activities that explore parts of the sun, characteristics of the sun, and activities using the sun.  Letwinch discusses a solar eclipse, the light spectrum, and sundials.  The final chapter is a jumping-off point for further exploration of astronomy through literature.  The book includes reproducible worksheets and study guides that would be useful in either a classroom or workshop.  This book would be an
excellent purchase for an educator who is looking for new activities to present some basic ideas in science.  It is not a heavily scientific book.  The activities are more exploratory than investigative.  Recommended. -- Heather Hepler, Graduate Student, University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences, Lucas, Texas

West Jersey Reading Council Conferences:

  • "Great hands-on activities."
  • "Very interesting -- good audience involvement."
  • "A practical hands-on presentation."
  • "Fabulous!  Information & method of presentation was excellent."

NSTA - NATIONAL CONVENTION:

  • "Everything you shared with us today, I know I will use.  Excellent job!"
  • "I've learned a lot in such a short period of time.:
  • "Many fresh, new ideas!"
  • "Thank you.  Great stuff."

"Educators can liven up grade three to six science classes with the activities in this book. . . Packed with engaging learning projects based on lively retellings  of traditional folktales and myths."  -- Curriculum Administrator

"Offers activities, complete with worksheets and handouts for teaching children about astronomy, using myths and stories in children's  literature."  -- Reference & Research Book News

From Children's Bookwatch --
"Grades 3-6 will delight in this survey of classroom activities in keeping with the National Science Standards.  . . . .An  excellent teacher's guide. . . "
 

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Contact the Author -  Joanne Letwinch
 

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