Earth Hounds: Dr. Xargle's Book of Earth Hounds and Seven Blind Miceby: Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan

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Learners develop understandings of the differences between observations and inferences by analyzing Dr. Xargle's comical, yet misguided, attempts to teach his students about human babies. Learners then make observations and inferences of "mystery samples" collected from Planet Earth by Dr. Xargle. This free chapter includes several science lessons that use children's books to guide inquiry, along with several activity pages. Also included are the Table of Contents, the Preface, and the Index of the book.

For more information on how to implement Picture-Perfect Science in you classroom—including key reading strategies and NSES connections—download the free e-book of chapters 1 through 5, Why Read Picture Books in Science Class?

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:25 PM

I've used a modified version in 7th grade and my students just loved it. They thought the Earthlets book was funny (even though there were some that were too cool, the whole bodily functions humor got the better of them!). I used it to review observations/interpretations and what the difference is. We then could go back to a very memorable lesson each time we needed to discuss the difference. Many had heard the Seven Blind Mice story but this brought a new twist to what we were trying to look at that carried throughout the year. If students weren't being thorough or hadn't looked at data from a different perspective, I would say things like, "Are you sure you aren't thinking it is a spear when it is an elephant?" or if they weren't working together and collaborating to combine evidence, I'd say, "Make sure you are being the White Mouse". We even posted the Mouse Moral on the wall for a while!

Wendy Ruchti  (Pocatello, ID)
Wendy Ruchti (Pocatello, ID)

  • on Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:44 AM

The authors clearly explain the difference between observations and inference. Making observations and inferences are important science process skills and understanding how the two contribute to scientific knowledge is critical to understanding the nature of science. The authors provide a variety of assessment tools that help students demonstrate such an understanding in both their own day-to-day experiences and in their science investigations. Because it is important for students to see the role and importance of both observations and inferences in scientists' work, it is critical for teachers to discuss this explicitly with students. Literature connections are especially useful for elementary teachers.

Lara  (New Haven, CT)
Lara (New Haven, CT)

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