CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Gordon Penrose.

Toronto, Greey de Pencier Books, c1982.
48pp, paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-919872-78-6.

Grades 3-7.
Reviewed by Nancy Dickson.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

This book is author Gordon Penrose's second in the field of science activities for children. Penrose, who was recently made a Fellow of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, retired this year from his position as York Borough master science teacher to devote more time to his Dr. Zed role.

The experimentation that is encouraged in this creative activity book is the basis of Penrose's philosophy: children learn best by doing. Cognizant of Piaget's stages of intellectual development, Penrose has aimed his book at the eight- to twelve-year-old who is in the "concrete operations" stage where learning is enhanced through the manipulation of concrete materials.

The book is a collection of twenty-one science experiments chosen for their learning potential in addition to being fun to do. They are meant to be executed with a minimum of adult supervision. However, most eight- or nine-year-olds would likely require assistance with the reading and carrying out of the instructions. The author has performed each experiment with student assistants and has subjected each to further testing through OWL magazine where Dr. Zed is a regular feature. Projects range from designing a mini-kite to building a hummingbird feeder or a home for worms and makes use of a variety of commonplace items found in most homes.

The 8½ x 11 inch page format provides a double page for each experiment. In addition to Dr. Zed's cast of riddle-telling birds, each colourful page includes sketches of the project, a list of materials required, and the instructions. Although well laid out, the print is small and close together and may be too much for some students to handle on their own.

Many of the activities included are suitable for classroom as well as at-home science use and may provide science teachers with practical applications for a number of scientific principles.

Nancy Dickson, Falgarwood P. S., Oakville, ON.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works