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How it Works: How the Universe Works Hardcover – April 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-One hundred astronomy experiments, broken down into six groups: "Spaceship Earth," the moon, the solar system, the sun, the stars, and the cosmos. While some of them are quite simple (e.g., tying a string around an eraser, swinging it in circles, and then shortening the string to observe the change in speed), many require careful measuring, cutting, and drawing. (Parents may find themselves doing a lot more than lighting candles and covering sharp edges.) Information on the various phenomena demonstrated is quite brief; the book is clearly not intended for reports. Browsers will be drawn to the large, colorful format and photographs, but the volume is best suited as a classroom source for activities to accompany science units.
Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. Originally published in England by Dorling Kindersley, this large-format book of astronomy activities has that publisher's signature look of bright, clear photographs against a broad, white background. Illustrations include photos of supplies needed for each activity, pictures of stars, planets, moons, spacecraft, astronomers, and early astronomical artifacts, as well as paintings of objects and events in space. Each double-page spread features one subject, with a brief introductory text, at least one activity, and sometimes a boxed sidelight. The activities range in difficulty from taking a core sample of an ice-cream bar with a drinking straw to building a model of the Galileo space probe. Although the activities vary in quality and some appear in other books, the format will make this an attractive choice. Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 18 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089577576X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895775764
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It was very hard to rate the books in this series, How the Universe included. In many ways, the book is excellent. The concepts and information are presented clearly and accurately, often in much more detail than usual in late elementary/early middle school. This series is produced by Dorling Kindersley, and though the organization is different (two-page spreads but with illustrated "experiments" and explanations rather that lots of picture-factoids), a flavor of the Eyewitness books remains.

HOWEVER, there are no experiments in this book. There are projects and demonstrations, but not one experiment. About 1/3rd to 1/4th of the activities are written as demonstrations that could be make into experiments with an adult's guidence so that a child is led to hypothesis and to test his hypothesis through experimentation, but as written, none of the activities can qualify. The remaining activities are either demonstrations that can't be easily turned into experiments or are simply projects, like making a telescope or a sundial. Some of the activities are also made ridiculously complicated and lengthy for the amount that a student would get out of it. For example, instead of sticking a sticker on a ball and turning the ball in the dark while illumated with a flashlight to show how day and night works, the child skewers a rubber ball to make an axis, uses two pieces of posterboard to place the axis at the exact right angle, paints the ball like the earth, puts a pin where he lives, and FINALLY, after several hours, uses a lamp to demonstrate something that without all the cutesy overhead would take less than a minute. Sure, you have a neat little globe as a result, but you just spent several lesson times on an activity that should have been a fraction of a lesson!
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Format: Hardcover
Heather Couper has scored a coup in writing this fun and exciting book to help you and your child be successful in school science. We used this book as a guide to a curriculum we wrote for a private school here in Washington. The students used to cheer when I came in the room with the lesson of the week which always came with an experiment from this book. Science was exciting and I never had any discipline problems. When you can properly engage a student and take away the fear of failure, you have won. This approach helped all the students but was especially impactful for the students with learning disabilities who struggled with the written word only approach. Get excited about science with your children! This book removes all fears.
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By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book teaches much information about the universe, from quasars to black holes. It has many, many experiments kids can use to learn about different planets and topics. Great book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our grandsons ( 6-8) are fascinated with astronauts and astronomy so this book was a perfect gift to go with their telescope! Gorgeous and well written book for kids and parents
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Terrific hands on activities for each planet and other aspects of the universe!
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