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Here's the Answer for Curious Kids' Questions!

Share Every publisher, it seems, has a series of Q&A books for kids. But Scholastic isn't just any publisher, and their new series of Q&A books is one of the best! Included: Ideas for extending these books in the classroom!

Q & A Book Cover

  • Do stars have points?   
  • Do whales have belly buttons?   
  • How do flies walk upside down?   
  • Why don't haircuts hurt?

  • Those are some of the questions answered in a new book series -- the Scholastic Question and Answer Series. Ten books cover a wide variety of topics, including insects, whales, the weather, volcanoes, the human body, and poisonous creatures.


    Q & A Book Cover Every publishing house has a Q&A series for young readers. The latest to hit bookstores is from Scholastic. Written by Melvin Berger (An Apple a Day, Life in the Rainforest) and Gilda Berger (Celebrate! Stories of the Jewish Holidays), these books are sure to be among the most frequently checked out books in any school or classroom library. Scholastic's Question and Answer Series is a distinguished addition to the genre. The authors' painstaking research and kidlike curiosity shines through. A variety of top-notch illustrators have created some of the best nature and science illustrations around.


    • Do insects fall in love?
    • Why do bees make honey?
    • How do mosquitoes find you in the dark?
    • Are all ladybugs alike?
    • Do all bees sting?
    • How do fireflies make light?

    The Berger's answers to those questions and dozens more can be found in How Do Flies Walk Upside Down? : Questions and Answers About Insects. Many of the answers will surprise young readers -- and lead to more questions that students might try to answer on their own. That's the great part about Q&A books, one question leads to another. A kid's natural curiosity is never satisfied!


    Scholastic's Q&A series makes a great starting point for many science units! Why not begin your insect unit by gathering a couple dozen insects books from the library and playing "Twenty Questions"? Pose 20 questions and give your students a class period to rummage through the gathered books to find as many answers as they can. Watch the excitement build!

    During the last 15 minutes of the period, gather the kids together to see what they've learned. After they share the results of their research, whip out How Do Flies Walk Upside Down? Read a handful of the questions posed in the book, and their answers. Then shut the book. Lesson Two of your insect unit might begin with a reading of the first chapter of the book, "Insect Ways."


    The individuals selected to illustrate Scholastic's Q&A series are storytellers themselves! Jim Effler's illustrations accompany the insect questions and answers. Fun and factual, the illustrations detail how insects smell, how they defend themselves, where they lay their eggs, the process of metamorphosis, and many other interesting insect facts.

    In addition, each book in the series includes a complete index, which makes it easy for kids to locate answers to specific questions.


    The classroom extension activities that might be tied to these books are endless! Here are a couple starters:

    • Where can I find it? (Study skills) Use one of the Q&A books to set up a study skills learning center activity. Post ten questions about insects with a copy of the index page from the book. Students must use the index page to determine where they will most likely find the answer to each question. They write the page number(s) on their answer sheets.

    • Create your own Q&A books. (Cross-curriculum/language) Once you've read one of the books in the series to your students, challenge them to write their own Q&A books. Those books can relate to any school subject; science is a natural, but so are social studies and other curriculum areas. How about a Q&A book about life in ancient Egypt? Or one about the lives of famous authors? Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to delve into a topic of interest. Challenge them to use library and Internet resources to find interesting facts about their subject and to create a lively Q&A book. Of course, they must document the source of each fact!


    Curious kids are sure to welcome the Scholastic Question and Answer Series, which includes these titles...

    Currently available:

    • Do Stars Have Points? : Questions and Answers About Stars and Planets
    • Do Whales Have Belly Buttons? : Questions and Answers About Whales and Dolphins
    • How Do Flies Walk Upside Down? : Question and Answers About Insects
    • Why Don't Haircuts Hurt? : Questions and Answers About the Human Body
    • Did Dinosaurs Live in Your Backyard? : Questions and Answers About Dinosaurs
    • Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? : Questions and Answers About Weather

    Soon to be published:

    • Can You Hear a Shout in Space? : Questions and Answers About Space Exploration
    • Do Tarantulas Have Teeth? : Questions and Answers About Poisonous Creatures
    • Do Tornadoes Really Twist? : Questions and Answers About Tornadoes and Hurricanes
    • What Makes an Ocean Wave? : Questions and Answers About Oceans Why Do Volcanoes Blow Their Tops? : Questions and Answers About Volcanoes and Earthquakes

    The books in the Scholastic Question and Answer Series are available in bookstores everywhere. If you are unable to locate a copy of a specific book, ask your bookseller to order it for you or call Scholastic Books at 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World® Editor-in-Chief
    Copyright © 1999 Education World

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