Sunday, January 13, 2019

~ MMGM ROCK COLLECTING FOR KIDS ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY S.T.E.A.M. FEATURE ~
--  'ROCK COLLECTING FOR KIDS:
An Introduction to Geology'  --
AUTHOR DAN R. LYNCH
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight & Review~

 ABOUT THE BOOK (FROM GOODREADS):

Nature's treasures are just beneath our feet, waiting to be discovered. 

With this book, you'll experience the excitement of finding, collecting, and identifying rocks and minerals. Dan R. Lynch, author of many field guides, presents a children's introduction to our amazing Earth. The book begins with geology basics, such as where rocks come from and how Earth's surface changes over time. Next, young readers are provided with an identification guide, which features full-color photographs and ID tips on 75 types of common and collectible rocks and minerals. From there, a "how to" section includes details on what to look for, where to look, and what to bring, as well as safety considerations. With rock collecting guidelines that the whole family will learn from and enjoy, this fun guide is engaging and informative--with plenty of kid-appeal--as it starts children on the path toward becoming successful rock collectors!

MY THOUGHTS:

This S.T.E.A.M. handbook begins with an introduction to geology and quickly moves into the history of our earth from a geological standpoint. I thought the landforms and tectonics plates section was especially interesting since I live in California where there has been a major earthquake and many small ones in our region during my lifetime. 
The weathering section discusses the power of water, rain, wind, waves, and ice and how these phenomenons wear down rocks. Spectacular photos of the Grand Canyon and rock arches in Wyoming give readers an understanding of this concept.

The author moves on to caves, sinkholes/cenotes/and more, glaciers, and rock formations. After reading this book I feel I have a greater understanding of why our country and world look the way they do!

The chapter on minerals culminates with a Minerals Hardness Scale that I found fascinating. The author cleverly includes non-mineral items which provide the reader a method of comparing the things they are familiar with to various minerals. For example, 2.5 on the hardness scale shows a fingernail; 3.5 shows a US nickel (coin), 5.0 shows a steel knife. In between these numbers various minerals are listed ending with diamonds being the hardest mineral on Earth.
 
Next we move into the rocks chapter. Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks are defined in detail with thumbnail photos of where these types of rocks are found in nature. There are some beautiful photos along with a detailed diagram of volcanoes to go along with the igneous rock section.

The rest of the book is dedicated to rock identification techniques and rock collecting for middle-graders, tweens, and teens. In this section I especially enjoyed reviewing the color-coded range maps for common rocks and with a separate map for common minerals. These features give readers a glance at where the rocks they want to collect can be found in North America. Both sections contain a photo and a blurb of common rocks and minerals including the phonetic pronunciation of the names of the more difficult names.
 
Lastly, the highlight of the book--in my humble opinion--is the chapter on agates, fossils, and dyed crystals. The photos of the agates and fossils are stunning! I liked the ways in which the author warned young collectors about purchasing items they may find in rock shops which are not what they appear to be.

The FAQ section on rock collecting contains tips on the storage and labeling of rocks, safety tips when out rock collecting, etc. The other back matter includes a thorough glossary, recommended reading lists for 'kids' and 'older readers', and several pages of a 'Rocks and Mineral Journal' young collectors can use to record their adventures and findings.


Other pluses of this guide:

--Size = field guide sized

--Photography = excellent, close-ups

--Maps/diagrams = color-coded, well-labeled, good detail, easy-to-read and understand

Highly recommended to scientists of all ages! A useful resource book to teachers, librarians, scout leaders, youth group leaders, camp leaders, parents, grandparents, middle-graders, tweens, and teens.

I borrowed this book from the non-fiction shelves in the children's section of the local public library.
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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.


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10 comments:

  1. I always enjoyed learning about rocks and the Earth in school, so I’m sure I would enjoy this book! Thanks so much for the review!

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    Replies
    1. Happy MMGM! Thanks for stopping by the blog today to share your positive thoughts about this post. I also enjoyed learning about geology when I was in school. Hope you get a chance to read this fieldbook soon.

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  2. This sounds great. I'm going to alert our outdoor lab schools and encourage them to add it to their libraries. Geology is a fascinating study for all ages.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Greg ~ I'm so glad you know of some individuals who can use this book with kids. Thank you for stopping by for MMGM!

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  3. Many kids are fascinated by collecting rocks. I was and had a tin box full as a kid. Great addition to any school or home library.

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Patricia ~ I was a collector of seashells since I was raised in California and frequently visited the beaches at Santa Cruz. In fact, I still have my little collection of shells and sea glass in a glass bowl on display in our home. Thanks for sharing MMGM with me!

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  4. Too bad they didn't have this book when I was a kid. I loved collecting rocks. Still have a little collection someone gave me.

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    1. How fun that you still have your rock collection, Natalie. Kids nowadays do have lots of good S.T.E.A.M. books at their disposal, but I would not trade the era of my childhood days for anything! I appreciate your sharing your positive thoughts here.

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  5. I was an absolute rock hound when I was a kid. I would have loved a book like this, Thanks for telling me about it. I will check it out.

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    Replies
    1. Hey there, Rosi ~ I have always loved the term, 'rock hound'. From the previous comments on this post, it sounds as if you weren't the only one with rock collecting as your childhood hobby. You're welcome for the heads-up; I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. Thank you for stopping by my blog for MMGM again this week!

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