Monday, April 27, 2015

Reposting: Second Grade Earth and Space Science Reading

There seems to be some sort of glitch in the system that would not allow this post to be pulled up, so I am reposting it in hopes of overcoming that....

I used the Visual Factfinders as my "spines" for this year, but other science encyclopedia type books could be used, too (or you could just read the topical books listed for each week)....

Planet Earth – 18 weeks

Course Overview:


Our Planet:  2 weeks (2 spreads each week, plus experiments and other reading)

The Land:  4 weeks (3 spreads each of first three weeks and 2 the last w/exp., etc.)

Water:  3 weeks (2 spreads first two weeks and 1 the last)

Weather and Climate:  3 weeks (2 spreads each week)

Landscapes:  3 weeks (2 spreads each week)

Past, Present, Future:  3 weeks (2 spreads first two weeks and one the last)
I know we included a lot of extra reading in some weeks, but at this age, I did science for one hour daily because my son loved it. You could easily cut down on the extra reading – we can never read ALL the great books out there! (Too bad….)
Extra reading tied to various spreads:

The Earth in Space -

Earth and Space, Susan Mayes and Sophy Tahta
Earth Picturepedia pages 6-9 (DK)
You’re Aboard Spaceship Earth

Gravity and the Earth –

Autumn Across America
Spring Across America
Winter Across America
all by Seymour Simon (Is there one for summer? My library didn't have it....)

Let’s Explore Seasons and Weather

The Structure of the Earth –

Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
Picturepedia pages 10-11 (DK)
Land, Water, and Air –

Magic School Bus: Waterworks

Earthquakes –

Complete Book of Science 1/2 and 3/4 (American Publishing; McGraw Hill) – experiments from earth sections. also has an elementary earth science section that includes activities.
Danger! Earthquakes, S. Simon
Danger from Below: Earthquakes Past, Present and Future, Simon
Earthquakes, Simon
Picturepedia pages 16-17 (DK)

Volcanoes –

Volcanoes, Simon
Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters
Picturepedia pages 14-15 (DK)

Plate Tectonics –

Usborne What’s The Earth Made Of?
Picturepedia pages 12-13 (DK)

Mountains –

Mountains, S. Simon

Rocks –

Delta Education Science in a Nutshell Rock Origins is a great kit!
The Rockhound’s Book, S. Simon
Let’s Go Rock Collecting
Picturepedia pages 18-19 (DK)

Minerals and Gems –

Rocks and Minerals at Your Fingertips
Picturepedia pages 20-21 (DK)

(Attended a local gem and mineral show; also attended our local university's Geology open house, where they have exhibits on lots of fossils, rocks, and minerals, etc.)

Frozen in Time –

Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs
New Questions and Answers About Dinosaurs, S. Simon
Picturepedia pages 22-23 (DK)
DK Big book of Dinosaurs
Big Creatures from the Past
DK Picturepedia: Dinosaurs
National Geographic, Feathered Dinosaurs
Woolly Mammoth
Dinosaur Bones
Where are all the Dinosaurs?
Let's Dig-a-Dinosaur
Dinosaur's: A First Discovery Book (Scholastic)
Dinosaur Dinners, Lee Davis (Eyewitness Readers: Level 2)
A Dinosaur Named Sue: The Find of the Century, Fay Robinson w/ the Field Museum team (Hello Reader, Level 4)
Time Flies, Eric Rohmann, pictures only
I Can Read About Dinosaurs, John Howard (Troll, level 3 or 4)
Dinosaur Days, Joyce Milton (Step into Reading, Level 2)
Dinosaurs, Liza Charlesworth (Scholastic, level 2 or 3)
McGraw Hill (American Ed. Pub.) Complete series workbook entitled: Dinosaurs 
Archaeologists Dig for Clues

(Visited the dinosaur exhibit area at an area natural history museum.)

Shaping the Earth –

One Small Square: Cave
Picturepedia pages 24-25 (DK)
Caves: Hidden Worlds (A First Discovery Book – Scholastic)

The Work of Ice –

Icebergs and Glaciers, S. Simon
Picturepedia pages 30-31 (DK)

(Visited some caves in our area and also an ice cave mock-up exhibit at an area natural history museum.)

Oceans and Seas –

How to be an Ocean Scientist in Your own Home, S. Simon
Magic School Bus: Ocean Floor
Complete Science 1/2 and 3/4 – experiments from water section

The Life of the Ocean –

Oceans, Simon
What Makes an Ocean Wave?
Usborne What’s Under the Sea?
Picturepedia pages 26-27 (DK)

The Seashore –

One Small Square: Seashore
Picturepedia pages 28-29 (DK)

(Identified shells and also visited our area aquarium.)

Rivers –

The River: A First Discovery Book (Scholastic)
Picturepedia pages 32-33 (DK)

Lakes and Swamps –

One Small Square: Swamp and Pond

The Atmosphere –

Complete Science 1/2 and 3/4 – experiments from air section
Weather, Simon
Weather: A First Discovery Book (Scholastic)
Eyewitness Explorer: Weather
Picturepedia pages 36-37 (DK)

Climate –

Picturepedia pages 38-39 (DK)

Winds and Storms –

Magic School Bus: Inside a Hurricane
Magic School Bus: Electric Field Trip
Lightning, Simon
Storms, Simon
Why Does Lightning Strike? Questions About Weather
Picturepedia pages 42-45 (DK)

The Types of Clouds –

Picturepedia pages 40-41 (DK)

(Attended a talk by a NOAA scientist about cloud types.)

Rain and Snow –

This is the Rain

The Changing Scene –

Used Delta Education Science in a Nutshell Soil Studies kit.
A Handful of Soil, Simon
One Small Square: Backyard
Usborne What’s Under the Ground?

Polar Regions and the Tundra –

One Small Square: Arctic Tundra

Temperate Woodland –

One Small Square: Woods

Grasslands –

One Small Square: African Savannah

Deserts –

One Small Square: Cactus Desert
Deserts, Simon
Picturepedia pages 34-35 (DK)

There are activities and dioramas to make in the Complete Science books associated with biome studies (under animal sections).

Tropical Rain Forests –

One Small Square: Tropical Rainforests

Natural Resources: Energy –

Magic School Bus: Water and Electricity books if not used previously….

Conservation –

Picturepedia pages 46-47 (DK)

Stars and Planets – 18 weeks


Cosmic Time and The Solar System – 9 weeks

(3 spreads during week 1, and 2 spreads the other 8 weeks, with experiments)

Beyond the Solar System – 1 week, three spreads

The Stars – 3 weeks, 2 spreads per week

Observing the Skies – 2 weeks, 2 spreads per week

Space Exploration – 3 weeks, 2 spreads per week  

Used many of the activities/experiments in Reader's Digest How the Universe Works.

Extra reading listed by spread:

A Timescale of the Universe –

How to be a Space Scientist in Your own Home, Simon
The Universe

Beginnings –

Kids’ Science – experiments from sky section
Destination: Space, Simon
Our Solar System, Simon
Space Picturepedia pages 26-27 (DK)
The Earth and Sky: A First Discovery Book (Scholastic)

The Sun –

Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System
The Sun, Simon
I Didn’t Know That the Sun is a Star

The Planets –

The Long Look Into Space, Simon
The Planets in our Solar System
Looking at the Planets

Mercury –

Mercury, Simon

Venus –

Venus, Simon

The Moon –

The Moon, Simon
The Moon Book (Troll, w/ tape)

The Earth and the Moon –

Earth, Our Planet in Space, Simon

Mars –

Mars, Simon

Jupiter –

Destination, Jupiter
Jupiter, Simon

Saturn –

Saturn, Simon

Uranus –

Uranus, Simon

Neptune –

Neptune, Simon

Minor Planets and Meteoroids –

Comets, Meteors and Asteroids, Simon

Comets –

The Long Journey From Space, Simon

The Milky Way –

Eyewitness Explorer: Night Sky
One Small Square: Night Sky
Mysterious Lights and Other Cases, Simon
Night Sky Sticker Book (DK)

Clusters and Superclusters –

Galaxies, Simon

The Life of a Star –

Stars, Simon
Star Walk, Simon (poetry)
Do Stars Have Points?

Extraordinary Stars –

Stars: A new way to see Them, H.A. Rey
The Starry Sky
Picturepedia pages 40-41  (DK)
Discovering the Stars

The Moving Sky –

Space Picturepedia pages 6-9 (DK)

The Constellations –

Find the Constellations, H.A. Rey
Look to the Night Sky: An Introduction to Star Watching, Simon

Optical Astronomy –

Picturepedia pages 38-39 (DK)

A Rocket to the Moon –

Can You Hear a Shout in Space?
I Didn’t Know That you can Jump Higher on the Moon
Picturepedia pages 10-11, 14-15, 22-25 (DK)
Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon

Artificial Earth Satellites –

Picturepedia pages 18-21 (DK)

Space Probes –

Space Sticker Book (DK)

Life in Space –

Picturepedia pages 12-13 (DK)

Space Shuttles and Space Stations –

Picturepedia pages 16-17 (DK)

The Future in Space –

Picturepedia pages 42-47 (DK)

We attended a nearby planetarium several times to view shows that were related to topics we were studying in various weeks.
We visited the USAF Museum in Dayton.  They have a nice exhibit hall covering space.  They do homeschool days twice yearly, too, with classes that often include space.

You'll see that I used lots of Seymour Simon books for the year.  He has great photographs in his books and my son was very interested in non-fiction books at the time that included actual photographs. 

Any of the One Small Square books can be used as a longer term study for a season or the entire year if you're interested in doing longer range nature studies.

The DK Picturepedia books are old and long OOP.  They do have other books out that are comparable, however, such as this:

Here's the actual space book:

DK now has out the Eye Wonder books, which are also a good substitute:,,9781405306799,00.html

Here are the Visual Factfinders:



Kingfisher also has out Visual Factfinders now that would work well for this course of study.... 

Pertinent books from the Let's-Read-and-Find-out-About-Science series (many written by Franklyn Branley) would also be useful!


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