If there's one thing that brings school lessons to life, it's food. My kids enjoy helping me in the kitchen, and they definitely love when we incorporate fun meals and snacks into our studies. We were recently given the opportunity to review one of several different titles from Ann McCallum Books, and both boys eagerly requested Eat Your Science Homework! They both love science, so this really came as no surprise to me.
The full title of the book I received is Eat Your Science Homework: Recipes for Inquiring Minds and it was written by Ann McCallum. Ann is a teacher who obviously has a love of sharing knowledge in a fun and exciting way, and she has written several different books for children. My 8 year old already said he wants the other books in the Eat Your Homework series, which also include a Math and American History title.
Eat Your Science Homework is just what it sounds like-a book of edible science projects. It is geared for kids 7-10 years old, but younger kids can follow along, and I definitely think it can be used with older kids too. The book includes information on the scientific method, laboratory (kitchen) safety, six recipes, a science review, glossary and index.
Before each recipe there is information, key words and facts to introduce the topic that is explored in the recipe. The recipes are broken down into four parts:
- Before You Begin (prep time, servings, etc)
- Method (step-by-step instructions with cute graphics)
You'll sometimes see the cartoonish characters in the book with speech bubbles offering tips for preparing the recipe, which is a cute touch. Following the recipe is more information related to the science being presented, and a Science Sampler that encourages the reader to experiment and use the scientific method.
A Sneak Peak
I'll share a little about one of the recipes we created - Invisible Ink Pockets. First we learned a little about invisible ink being marketed in 1869, oxidation, the pH scale and ions. Then of course followed the recipe. The recipes are laid out nicely and easy to follow. After the recipe, there was a little more info on Acids, Neutrals and Bases, as well as chemical vs. physical reactions. The Science Sampler encouraged us to try out other liquids besides the one used in the recipe to determine if they would have the same reaction. This is the part that gets the kiddos thinking and experimenting.
Invisible Ink Snack Pockets were a quick and easy lunch. They are easy to customize since they make individual servings. As you can see, Elliott made an E on his with invisible ink.
The Eat Your Science Homework book also comes with a free Teacher's Guide (under the "downloadables" tab) that is a 21 page PDF file full of excellent supplementary information and activities. This is a great way for the parent or teacher to stretch the material into a "meatier" study and get older siblings more involved.
This book has cute, colorful graphics and interesting, educational information presented in a fun, and yummy format! There are both snacks and meals included. I think this book would be good to use alongside your science curriculum to add a corresponding recipe whenever they line up. It would also be a great summer unit or could obviously be used anytime just for fun. There's really no right or wrong way to use this book. For the kiddo that just likes to cook, any of the Eat Your Homework books would be a unique gift for them. Families with special dietary needs may need to tweak the recipes, but the educational content should make it worth the effort. This is a fun book, and I imagine the other Eat Your Homework books are as well. In addition to her Eat Your Homework Series, the crew also reviewed two of Ann McCallum's math storybooks, so be sure to check out the other reviews to see what all she has to offer!
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