Title: A Slimy Story
Author(s): Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator/Photographer: Paige Billin-Frye
Publisher and Year: The Kane Press, 2004
Number of pages: 32
Tags/Themes: Animals, Science, Fiction, K-5, Meagan DeSalvo
Genre: Informational Fiction
Descriptive Annotation: A Slimy Story is part of a set of stories from Science Solves It. This particular story is under the life science category. The premise of the story is that the young boy Dan has no idea what he is going to buy for his mother’s birthday that is quickly approaching. His brother reveals that he bought their mother gardening gloves because she loves to garden. This makes Dan even more nervous. On Dan’s way to school, he is walking with his friend through the rain. The friend stops him from stepping on worms that have made their way onto the sidewalk. Dan finds worms to be gross and slimy and refuses to touch them. Dan goes through another day still struggling to come up with a gift idea. The next day Dan arrives to school with a worm that was placed on him. This worm becomes the class pet and becomes a source of observation, inquiry, and research for the students. After further researching about worms, Dan decides that they aren’t too bad. The students even learn some important information about worms. Dan finally makes the connection that worms are good for his mother’s garden and decides that he will gift her worms for her garden.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: On most of the pages, there is more facts and information about worms that further teach the science material. Michelle Knudsen was able to weave in the science information into a fun book for students. The book not only teaches about the worms, but also about scientific inquiry. The last page of the book is a further extension activity that calls on students to “think like a scientist”.
Interdisciplinary Connections: Science is definitely the focus of the book. Students are indirectly taught how to think like scientists through a possibly applicable or understandable situation. Obviously the students learn about worms, but they also learn how to infer, question, and research a topic.
Other Information: This whole set of books classified under Science Solves it is supposed to be geared from grades K-3, but depending on your students, you could even go older to get the ideas going among your students.