THE SECRET LIFE OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES by Vicki Cobb

THE SECRET LIFE OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As paper, ink, and paste lack the multiple attractions of edible ingredients, this investigation of writing materials won't have the appeal of Cobbs' Science Experiments You Can Eat series, but it could suit a science club or other such school-related group. Cobb mixes brief reports on the development of the material with suggested experiments: Regarding paper, kids can make sheets on a wire screen from slurry made of blended water, torn-up toilet paper, and laundry starch. More time-consuming paper-making can be accomplished with strips of rag, and kids are also urged to experiment with lint from a clothes dryer. The persistent can go on to demonstrations of the basic properties of paper--grain, brightness (view different white papers as windows in black construction paper), opacity, curl, watermarks, and absorption--and then move on to other writing materials. Cobb shows them how to make ink from iron tablets and tea bags, how to use different inks to learn about paper chromatography, how to make chalk, and how to test for various qualities of pencil lead, crayon color, glue and rubber erasers. Her directions are very readable and the activities can teach much about the different materials, though less in the way of basic scientific principles. Morrison's humorous drawings enliven the lessons.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1981
Publisher: Lippincott