Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Jump Into Science SAND


Jump Into Science SAND, written by Ellen Prager is a great book for students when learning about sand.  The book starts off by explaining the different uses of sand: beaches, desert dunes, home for certain aquatic life and the recreational uses people use sand for: walk, lie down and to build sand castles. The autor does a fantastic job of describing what sand is make of , where it comes from and how sand moves from location to location.

“Sand can be many colors-white, red, green, tan, or black. Some sand even looks like the black and white of a Dalmation’s spotted coat. The color of sand comes from the color of it’s grains.”

The book explains in detail how the various colors of sand are seen around the world.  An example is a white beach which is made up of the beautiful coral reef’s and shells found in the water close by.  It can take a very long time for sand to create the beautiful beaches we are use to today.  There are sections of the book that show what the different colors of sand look like up close.

Ellen Prager does a great job explaining how sand travels for the early elementary student while still capitaviting the older student.  Sand can travel by water, wind and ice.  She explains how each of the natural ways of movement shape the grains of sand differently.  At the end of the book you will find a fun activity titled, Shake It Up.  This would be a fun way for students to learn hands on how sand can be made.

Curriculum Connections

This would be a great resource for teachers teaching about minerals and rocks in the classroom (SOL 4.9C).  The book explains in detail how rocks and minerals are broken up into smaller pieces, which make a grain of sand.  This book can be used throughout the state of Virginia for teaching students about the sand they can find sand along the east coast of Virginia at the beach as well as small recretation areas along the west coast of Virginia.


Early elementary students can complete the word search, At The Beach to find words associated with the beach.  This would also go along well when teaching about the seasons.

Activites for students ranging from preschool to grade 3.  This web-site has ideas for teachers to use such as sand pictures & sand beads. The web-site also can provide teachers with information about the animals that live (habitat) in the sand.

Another fun activity for students would be making sand filled bottles and creating sand art. Students can create different layers of colored sand while learning about the different colors and how they are created.

Book: Jump Into Science SAND
Author: Ellen Prager
Illustrator: Nancy Woodman
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 31
Grade Range: Preschool-5th grade
ISBN: 0-7922-5583-6

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