This week, I’d like to introduce you to the text, 11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill. In this text, “a young child tries a series of wacky experiments, such as seeing if a piece of bologna will fly like a Frisbee and determining whether seedlings will grow if watered with expensive perfume, and then must suffer the consequences of experiments gone awry.”
What is interesting about this book is the way it is set up. First, it is not set up like a traditional story book. It is almost set up in a ‘Scientific-Method-Lab-sheet’ kind of way. (See below a picture of a few pages of the text). It begins with the question, the hypothesis formed, materials needed, Step by step what you need to do and what happened (or the results). Of course, the results are typically the consequences of his choices.
This book would be a great way to introduce the terminology of the scientific method, along with preparing students for it. The humor in the book would definitely get students excited and thinking about how incredibly cool science is (Because hey, science IS incredibly cool!!). If you really wanted to, you could easily have students take an experiment, such as the seedlings watered with perfume, and turn it into a real lab experiment by writing it more formally.
Either way, it’s a cute book that is sure to pique some interest in science!