August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday 8.21.14

Are you ready? Let's get started with...

What is Throwback Thursday? How does it work, you might ask? Simply look through your PURR-fect Previous Posts, perhaps a particular favorite of yours, and re-post it! Then add the TBT badge to your post and include your link below! Purr-fectly easy and simple! Your post doesn't have to be from LOOOONNNGGG ago; it can be from last month or even earlier this week. And if you don't have a post to share, perhaps an old photo or two from WAY BACK will do! Even a favorite pin is PURR-fect! Just join in the Throwback fun!

This post originally appeared August 18, 2013, while I was preparing things for the first week of school which is what I'm doing now as well. That's how I came upon this post.

I'm linking up for the first time with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Mentor Text Linky Party. I've been following the blog posts for this linky for several months and have finally decided to join in... with this awesome science text...

From Amazon..."Not an ordinary mystery book, One Minute Mysteries makes science fun! Each one-minute mystery (solutions included) exercises critical thinking skills while covering earth, space, life, physical, chemical, and general science. This entertaining and educational book is great for kids, grown-ups, schools, educators, homeschoolers and anyone who loves good mysteries, good science, or both!"

I LOVE to do read alouds with my upper elementary students, and I make sure that I read something each day in each class. I think it's a terrific way to model fluent reading for kids, and it can quickly engage students with content area material... not to mention sharpening auditory/listening skills. That's exactly what 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Science does.

I was introduced to this book and its companion about Math at an inservice for Gifted and Talented students about three years ago. The presenter picked it up from his stash of books on a table and randomly opened it without telling us what the title was or what the book was about. He began reading and I was hooked!

Each mystery is a simple narrative chock-full of Science content with something amiss. At the end of the narrative is a photograph or illustration related to the content followed by the "solution."

When using this as a read aloud, my students must listen for what is out of place, amiss, or just plain in-your-face wrong with the Science presented. You can read a few of the mysteries HERE to get a feel for the book. Based on their knowledge I ask my students to solve the mystery and provide reasoning for their response. No one may simply guess; each must provide Science evidence. If they can not solve the mystery, I send them off to do research, not immediately but rather on their own time, and we proceed with the day's lesson. The next mystery is not shared with them until they solve the current one. 

Doesn't this sound a little like close reading, textual evidence, comparing texts, reading across the curriculum... common core? I think it would be great to have enough copies of this book to use with a class of students. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sway my administration. However, 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Science is available in Kindle format so I am able to project the text on my Smartboard or widescreen TV and present it to my students. We highlight evidence, underline or circle important text, and immediately head off on the internet to answer science questions they may have. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

You can imagine then how excited I was when I went in search of links for 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Science on Amazon and found...TA DA!

It is already stored in my Kindle, ready to go. LOL!

This book is once again ready to go in my Kindle (actually on my Kindle app on the computer at school). I hope this crop of sixers enjoys it as much as the last did.

OK, now it's your turn.


  1. I love read alouds also! Thank you for sharing this great idea. Teaching Science With Lynda

  2. Thanks for sharing the science one minute mysteries. I have seen the regular ones but not science! I am changing jobs and will miss reading aloud to my kids. This is perfect for my science classes!

  3. I've never heard of these books before, but I am so intrigued! I read the sample on, and I think I know the answer, but I'm not positive!! I definitely want to read these to my daughters!


Leave a little message and let me know you've visited!