Things That Float and Things That Don’t by David A. Adler
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Cindy: I am feeling very buoyed up by this new book on flotation and density by science and math guru David A. Adler. Things That Float and Things That Don’t (Holiday House 2013) will delight elementary teachers with its clear explanations and simple experiments to aid students in understanding these principles. Adler explains why weight alone doesn’t determine flotation…it’s the density that matters. For instance, a lump of clay in a ball sinks but the same amount of clay shaped into a boat takes up more space and encloses air, reducing its density and so it floats on water.
The book has frequent activities or experiments throughout for children to test density and discover what floats and what doesn’t. I shared the book with a science teacher who thought it would be a good introduction to the concepts but she had one criticism. She wished that there would have been a page turn before revealing the answers to the experiments…a chance for a teacher to share that page and let the inquiry process work before giving children the answer. There are some minor disagreements between the text and the illustrations but for the most part the cheery pastel illustrations show children (and a dog) having fun with science…I told you I was feeling buoyed up!