Zoey and Sassafras Connecting Science and Literacy

Recently I received an e-mail with an opportunity to work with a company called Innovation Press.  They send me a few books to create some resources for and each time, I have been absolutely in love with the teaching opportunities that these books open up!

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Recently I received a copy of  this amazing book: Unicorns and Germs (Zoey and Sassafras)

This is a short chapter book with larger sized text and some black and white pictures. The main character is a science minded girl, who takes care of mythical and imaginary creatures using science! This book would be perfect for my end of first graders and second graders, especially for reading groups, since there is great vocabulary as well! I also think this would make a great read aloud because it would be a great jumping off point for some really fun science!

This particular story talks all about collecting and growing germs on a petri dish, as well as finding out how to prevent germs from growing (or eliminate them).

I think it would be so fun to do this sort of germ growing experience at home with your students, during a science club, or even in your classroom!
It reminded me of this really neat kit my oldest son got last year for Christmas, so if you’re looking for a shortcut kit with all the materials included, this one might be good for you to start!

Otherwise, you can grow germs using the ingredients in the book recipe using NOW Foods Agar Powder, Pure, 2 Ounce Bottle, sugar, beef broth, and water!

I also have done other petri dish experiments (including making some fun favors for my seven year olds science party) using these petri dishes.

… and of course, don’t forget your safety goggles, and gloves!

You could collect bacteria from the children’s mouths, or places around the room.
Of course there are some safety rules to keep in mind… like make sure the containers are tightly closed and don’t open them back up once the bacteria has grown!
You could definitely test, just like Zoey did, if garlic, oregano, lemon juice etc. prevent the growth of bacteria! (More on this coming later).

In the meantime… if you’d like to get started, I’ve created this free character guide to use during literacy time!

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