ZOEY & SASSAFRAS:
MERHORSES AND BUBBLES
So what’s wrong with mixing science and fantasy in a book for ages 4-10? I can’t think of a better way to engage both the mind and imagination! I only wish I had books like the ZOEY AND SASSAFRAS series when I was a child!
I just finished reading MERHORSES AND BUBBLES by Asia Citro, and I can’t wait to share it with my granddaughters!! Punctuated throughout with engaging illustrations by Marion Lindsay, they will love the “Merhorses” and their rainbow stones. But I think they will equally like the stream science presented in the story. Their science-teacher-Grandma has had them doing lots of science activities, but I think we are past due for a stream trip to collect some water samples and algae to examine. I love the water viewer described in the story. We will have to make one.
There are some strong science teaching elements in MERHORSES AND BUBBLES. First, I love the journaling that Zoey does. She records evidence and her hypotheses as she goes through the story, and her journaling is a good example of how to do it. Safety is emphasized with Zoey wearing goggles when working with chemicals, and she is careful to wash her hands and feet after being in a polluted stream. This story would make a great introduction to an ecology unit or lesson. I can see it generating lots of discussion.
For more activities to accompany this and other ZOEY AND SASSAFRAS stories, go to https://www.zoeyandsassafras.com/extensionactivities/. There are numerous activities, interviews, and information that accompany this story that could be used by a teacher or parent. I understand that the lessons are aligned to the NGSS, but how to access that information was not readily apparent.
Citro, Asia, and Marion Lindsay. Zoey and Sassafras. Merhorses and Bubbles. Innovation Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-943147-19-9
Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.