Monday, November 15, 2010

Get To Know Wedges

Get To Know Wedges
written by Jennifer Christiansen
(Crabtree Publishing) 2009
Source: Orange County Public Library
Check out Nonfiction Monday at In Need of Chocolate

Get To Know Wedges is one of those nonfiction titles that probably received very little publicity and isn't an especially glamorous title, but boy does it come in handy when you are trying to teach simple machines. The explanations of what makes something a wedge and how it is useful are laid out clearly for students to understand. Informative photographs and several easy to complete experiments make this an appealing nonfiction text. The cool thing about this information is students can easily connect to it since it is part of their everyday lives. The experiments could easily be conducted at home and make a fun homework assignment. For example, one experiment involves knocking blocks down. What kid wouldn't like that for homework? If you do research reports on simple machines, find a copy of this book. It is part of a larger series on simple machines published by Crabtree Publishing Company. Here is a link to a terrific PDF with more simple machine experiments. One of the websites included in the book, a link to the Canada Science and Technology Museum, provides background information on simple machines. Inspired by this book, I have listed several ways that wedges have improved my life:
  • Doorstops keep my cats from shutting themselves in the bathroom all day until I get home. 
  • A spatula allows me to clumsily flip pancakes for my family.
  • Scissors helped my mother cut away the gum that was stuck in my hair when I fell asleep as a kid. 
  • A snow shovel helps me dig out of the one inch of snow that stops me in my tracks. I live in the South for this very reason.
Thank you, mighty wedge!

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