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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - SAND TO STONE

Sand to Stone and Back Again
Written by Nancy Bo Flood
Illustrated by Tony Kuyper

Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
ISBN 1555916570
Ages: 4 to 8
Review and Lessons Plans
Donna O'Donnell Figurski

Our world is in constant change. Sometimes it is obvious as hurricane winds rip trees from their roots or lava slides down the side of a mountain, or an earthquake sends gigantic tsunami waves to flood and engulf entire villages. But much of the time the earth’s changes are not visible, though we know with the passage of time that they have occurred.

Sand To Stone And Back Again written by Nancy Bo Flood and illustrated by Tony Kuyper shows how the earth is changing and it all starts with a grain of sand. One tiny grain of sand joins with one more and more and yet another and over time a majestic mountain is formed. Minerals in the rocks bring out their stunning colors. Pinks, oranges, and vivid purples drape the rocks in beauty as depicted in Slot Canyons in Page Arizona, the beautifully, photographed book by Andy McDonough.

Weird and, sometimes, eerie rock formations can be formed, too, as the sand crystals join together. The giant mittens in Monument Valley in northern Arizona are one example of this. Wind and water can carve rocks into mesas, buttes, or spires. It was water that formed the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Tony Kuyper’s illustrations are engaging, while Nancy Bo Flood draws readers in with her poetic words. The two mesh together to form this very informative book, which may change your way of looking at sand and stone.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters .
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“This book is about sand,” said Abby.

“Sand is little crystals,” explained Juliana.
“It can make different things,” continued Abby.
“Did you know that a desert used to be a small piece of sand?” asked Mark.

“Right!” said Johnny. “The desert once was a tiny grain of sand. Then more crystals surrounded it.”

“The desert is the greatest place to be,” said Brayden dreamily, “with all of that nice, soft sand.”

Mikaela nodded. “From a little grain of sand there came so much sand in the ocean,” she said. “Millions of crystals surrounded the grain. Then heavy water passed over the sand and it was cemented to stone.”

“There is a lot of sand in the world,” said Juliana.

“I think it was really cool how we actually got to know how sand changed,” said Abby.

“The seasons in the desert can change really quickly,” said Brayden.

“I think it is very cool how sometimes the mountains can turn into different kinds of shapes and different sizes,” said Mikaela.

Callie nodded. “What’s really beautiful about it is that it changes colors sometimes … like blue, green, red, and purple,” she said.

“… Like the candy cane columns,” explained Daisy.

“It’s really cool how sand changes to rock and makes all those beautiful colors,” said Callie.

“Smashed up rock makes sand,” explained Juliana

“When the rock changes into sand, the minerals come out,” said Johnny.

“And the minerals make colors on rocks,” said Rosie.

“I also like another thing about the colored rocks,” said Mikaela. “They transform into different kinds of things … the one in the book was like a slide.”

“I think that change is good,” said Johnny. “If it didn’t change, it would look the same.”

“Things do change ... like people, animals, and also rocks and sand,” said Callie.

“And, sometimes some mountains can transform into scary goblins,” said Diego.

“They can actually turn into anything they want,” said Abby. “Because they can pile up and form any shape they want.”

“It’s because of the wind,” explained Rena.

“Yeah,” agreed Mikaela. “Because the wind moves the little grains of sand and turns them into different forms.”

Diego nodded. “Sometimes they look like sculptures of stuff,” he said.

“Yeah, like there’s a mushroom on a canyon,” explained Brayden.

“And, one of the rocks looks like a chef hat,” added Diego.

“And giant mittens,” added Mikaela.

Jewel looked excited. “Well, in the book the author uses figurative language.”

Johnny nodded. “Instead of saying what they are, she’s looks at the pictures and she says what she thinks they are … in the mitten part, she describes what they look like. She’s not saying they are blue and they look like mittens. She uses more figurative language. She wants you to think.”

Diego agreed. “Nancy has a really creative, imaginative mind,” he said.

“Right!” said Jewel. “Instead of giving facts like normal books, she uses different words to make you infer … or think of what the canyons look like,” she explained.

Tala thought for a moment. “Canyons can be big,” she said.

“Canyons are beautiful?” added Lucy.

Mikaela nodded and repeated her former thought, “From a little grain of sand there came so much!”

“Right! And if you rub two rocks together, they can turn to sand,” announced Caden.

“Sometimes if you pick up the sand, you can feel it falling down,” said Tala. “It’s kind of like rain falling through your fingers.”

“There are a lot of sparkly grains of sand at the beach,” contemplated Daisy.

 “Sand changes like magic,” said Danae with a mysterious smile.


My Pet Rock Rocks:
Science/Language Arts (part 1)

Rocks are everywhere. They are big and they are small. There are giant boulders and wee, tiny pebbles. Rocks make up the core of our planet. After all, don’t we live on the third rock from the sun? Children can bond with the earth starting with their very own rock … their own pet rock.
  • Ask the children to bring a small rock to school.
  • Have them glue a set of googly-eyes on their rocks.
  • Tell them to make up an unusual name for their pet rock. (Ex.: Rocky, Greystone, Penelope, Superstone, Pebble, Chert, or Harry)
  • Their rocks can be kept in a rock zoo at night when they go home, but during their school day, have the children carry them in their pockets.
  • Tell the children that their Pet Rocks are going to go everywhere they go.
  • Then have each child think about his or her pet rock and fill out the following worksheet.
What is the name of your pet rock?
How old is it?
Where does it live?
What color is your rock?
What is its favorite thing to do?
What does it hate the most?
What is your rock’s favorite vegetable?
What is your rock’s favorite fruit?
What time does it go to bed at night?
Who is your rock’s best friend?
What does your pet rock like to wear?
What is your pet rock’s favorite color?
How many brothers and sisters does your pet
rock have?

My Pet Rock Rocks Journal: Science/Language Arts (part 2)

My Pet Rock ROCKS!
  • Give the children journals. They can be store-bought marble composition books or they can make their own in school using lined paper and construction paper covers.
  • Each day have the children write in their My Pet Rock ROCKS! journal about the experiences their rock has had that day.
  • The length of the journal entry will depend on the age and the capabilities of the children.
Day 1:
     My pet rock’s name is Esmeralda. She is six years old.
Day 2:
      Esmeralda lives in my pocket so she can be near me.
Day 3:
      Esmeralda went to the park today. She likes to swing really high on the swings.
Day 4:
      Esmeralda took a bath after the park. She was so dirty.
Day 5:
      Esmeralda likes to swim in the bathtub. (Etc.)
  • After children have had sufficient time to add several entries to their journals, have a Pet Rock ROCKS journal share.

Here’s a pet rock family from one of my classes. pet-rocks-Aren’t they the cutest? 
That’s Esmeralda in front.


(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

ROCKS & MINERALS ~ Info & Photos
How Rocks & Minerals Are Formed
National Geographic Explorer Earth Movers
National Geographic Quick Flicks
Geo Mysteries @ The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Neighborhood Rocks: Names for Common Rocks


Slot Canyons of Page Arizona written by Andy McDonough
Rocks & Minerals (Wonders of Our World)
written by Neil Morris
Let's Go Rock Collecting written by Roma Gans, illustrated by Holly Keller
Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks and Minerals written by Chris Pellant
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All contents copyright (c) 2002. Donna O'Donnell Figurski.
No content may be copied or reproduced in any way without the express permission of the creator.
Clip Art courtesy of GraphicGarden.com

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