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review 2017-10-10 19:00
The Secret Life of Germs / Philip Tierno
The Secret Life of Germs: What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them - Philip M. Tierno Jr.

They're on everything we touch, eat, and breathe in -- on every inch of skin. And despite the advances of science, germs are challenging medicine in ways that were unimaginable ten years ago. No wonder the world is up in arms -- and using antibacterial soaps.

From the common cold, E. coli, and Lyme disease to encephalitis, mad cow disease, and flesh-eating bacteria, Tierno takes readers on a historical survey of the microscopic world. Rebuffing scare tactics behind recent "germ events" Tierno explains how the recycling of matter is the key to life. Yes, he'll tell you why it's a good idea to clean children's toys, why those fluffy towels may not be so clean, and why you never want to buy a second-hand mattress, but he also reveals that there is a lot we can do to prevent germ-induced suffering. You'll never look at anything the same way again.

 

 

I chose to read The Secret Life of Germs because I have often heard the author on CBC radio, brought in as an expert on microbial issues. It was published back in 2001, so some of the information it contains is out-of-date, though it was cutting edge at the time.

There is still plenty of good info in this volume. If nothing else, the author’s attention to prevention of disease was an excellent reminder as the cold & flu season approaches. I’m washing my hands more often and for longer than I had been—its so easy to get lazy about this! And handwashing goes so far towards keeping us healthy.

If I have any quibbles, it is with referring to all microbes as “germs.” To me, a germ is a disease causing agent, not a benign or helpful microbe. But I am sure that this title caught a bit more attention through using “germs” in the title than it might otherwise have garnered.

If you are interested in microbiology, may I recommend I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, which offers more recent information, also in an easy to read format.

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review 2017-02-22 16:53
Germs! Germs! Germs!
Germs! Germs! Germs! (Hello Reader! Level 3 Science) - Bobbi Katz,Steve Björkman

This book educates children about germs. I would use this book with older grades such as third, fourth, and fifth graders but the Lexile level of this book is 170L. Before, during, and after reading, I would complete a KWL chart about germs with students on the board. As a hook to the lesson, I would get each student to put lotion on their hands (that has glitter in it) and give them three minutes to walk around putting the glitter on the board, knobs, or desks. This would serve as a visual for germs. After reading the book, I would host a whole-group discussion on all of the ways germs get in your body and ways to keep them out. Then we could play a game. To set up for the game, the teacher would need to use painter's tape to make a big circle on the floor or use chalk to make one on the sidewalk. The circle would need to be big enough for each student to jump inside. The students will pretend to be the germs in the story as it is read aloud. The students will begin by standing on the line that creates the circle. As the teacher reads the story aloud, the students will jump in the circle if the germ gets inside the body and will jump out of the circle if the germ is prevented from getting in the body. After playing the game, students could write about how they will prevent the spread of germs in our classroom. This lesson would be good to do during the beginning of the school year or around flu season.

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review 2016-11-10 17:00
Bugs in My Hair! - David Shannon

 I would use this book up to 5th grade. After reading this book I would provide a visual activity for the students. I would spread glitter all over my hands and then ask my students to shake my hand then ask them to shake somebody elses hand and then ask them to sit down. I would tell everyone to look at their hands. I would ask them to raise your hands if they have glitter on them. (everyone would raise their hand) I would say did you see how fast those “germs” spread. Then, I would go into a lesson about washing hands and keeping your hands to yourself so germs don’t spread as fast. In the lower grade the class could also make a lice bug to show and have an anchor chart of ways to stop germs from spreading.

 

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review 2015-12-24 00:00
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond Took me a year and a half to read this book. Not only because I'm a slow reader, though I am. But it was so long and there were so many other activities and books clamoring for my attention, that I got sidetracked several times. But it was worth coming back to. It's a fascinating study of how human societies succeed or not, in macro terms. It's very well written, but very long.
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