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Read and Review: You are the Earth

Marcus Dolliver

Elementary Science
Shaunda Wood
January 19th, 2017
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Suzuki, D., Vanderlinden K. (2003, February). You are the earth: Know the planet so

you can make it better. Greystone Books: Vancouver, BC.

Summary

You are the Earth by David Suzuki and Kathy Vanderlinden is a book written

to further a readers knowledge on the world which they are living in. In doing so

the book is broken down into many subcategories which are located easily through

the table of contents. Throughout the book, the main emphasis is on the

importance of clean air, water, soil, and the suns energy to our planet and our lives

as humans. It additionally addresses the human effect on these four elements so

that the reader can gain a better understanding of nature, and what life is

dependant on. The book addresses air by looking at how we use it, and the process

which air goes through to allow our ecosystems to survive. The breathing cycle,

photosynthesis, atmosphere, and the effects of globalization on air is addressed in

this section. Humans are responsible for taking care of our atmosphere so that

generations to come can enjoy their lives in a clean and healthy environment.

When looking at water and its importance to our everyday lives, we see how it is

important to the human body, the world, and all ecosystems on earth. The author

addresses the make up of water molecules, as well as the its purpose within the

human body composition, such as regulating temperature and digestion.

Additionally, there is a very basic explanation towards how the water cycle works on

earth with strong visual reinforcement to enhance the readers understanding. Once

reaching the third element being soil, readers get to explore the importance of

clean soil for maintaining sufficient healthy foods across the world. In this section,

the reader can see how the human digestive system work from the food entering

the body to exiting the body. There is also a fun experiment which the author
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challenges readers to try at home. The fourth element being fire/sun, readers

explore the importance of energy transfer and the sun. Just like the previous

elements, readers are provided with scientific information about how the human

body maintains its temperature regulation through shivering.

Throughout the remainder of the book readers get to see why all life on earth

should be valued and respected to maintain a healthy earth. They are also given

opportunity to see how humans can change to create a better environment for the

future and today. The back of the book provides an easy to use glossary, along with

questions about the book to review what was discussed through the chapters.

These questions are directly related to the main concepts discussed within the book.

Teachable areas

Science covers a large range of subject areas, many of which are cross

curricular. The first chapter does a very good job showing the importance of air to

our world. I may use this in my class to provide a fun and interesting read to my

students, which may bring further interest to the topic. It would be a very useful

resource to help explain the process of photosynthesis and importance of all

organisms within an ecosystem. Additionally, it would provide a very valid, and well

illustrated method towards introducing an elementary science class to biological

functionings. I believe that for each element discussed in this book, it could be a

good introductory activity when starting a new unit in elementary science. When

addressing water, this would be a strong resource in class because it includes many

different subcategories in science. The chapter includes information and visuals on

the make up of our body, the importance of hydration, changes in state, the water

cycle and how people from different areas of the world may use water (you and your
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world). The visual representation of the water cycle would be very useful to use in

the classroom to provide students with a better understanding of why puddles

disappear (evaporate) and where rain, snow, sleet, hail come from. As a resource

in the classroom students would love to look through this book and find the

education comics which are heavily related to science subjects which would be

covered in elementary, or years to come. Throughout the book there are many fun

activities which could be done outside or inside of the classroom. Tthere is an

activity suggested where children would take a sample of garden soil and analyze

its contents. The book emphasizes the number of living organisms which can be

found in the soil which some young audiences may find fascinating. The book

brings in fun facts which would be very intriguing to young students and may

increase their desire to learn about scientific findings. Some statistics found

through the reading, students may find very intriguing. A mere pinch of soil could

contain as many as a million fungi and over a billion bacteria (Suzuki, p.50).

Information like this is valuable to a students learning in science because it allows

them to see the world in a whole different way. In doing so it brings interest, and a

desire to further explore the topic.

Throughout the chapters there is a series of non-fiction stories which

reinforce the material discussed within the chapter. Although they are non-fiction,

they provide a strong purpose to the importance of each topic and allows students

to see the connections we make with the environment in ways a fiction story would

be incapable of. Additionally, there are multiple areas I came across which could

easily be used as a you and your world lesson to develop classroom discussion or

activity.
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