• Tippy-Toe Chick, GO!

    Every morning when the dew had dried, Hen took her chicks to the garden for their favorite treat – sweet itty-bitty beans and potato bugs.

    Hen, Big Chick, and Middle Chick next, with Little Chick trailing along behind. Stopping to wonder at this and that.

    Then running, tippy-toe, tippy-toe, to catch the rest. Across the yard. Into the garden to eat, eat, eat. Every day, every day of the week. TILL ONE day-

    A big, grumpy dog came running their way, barking and growling at the end of a rope.

    Hen jumped back and pulled her chicks near. “There’s no safe way to the beans today. We’ll just have to wait for chicken feed.”

    All three chicks said, “Bleck!” and frowned.

    “We’re hungry!”   “You PROMISED!” “We did our chores!” Hen sighed.  “But we’ll NEVER get past a dog like that.”

    Big Chick said, “Wait. I’LL take care of this.” He slowly took a step toward Dog. “Now listen,” he called. “We won’t hurt you. We’re just going to the garden for an itty-bitty treat.” 


    Dog disagreed, barking and pulling at the end of his rope. Big Chick ran to hide under Hen’s safe wing.

    Middle Chick took a breath, then stepped toward Dog. “I’M hungry, so YOU’D better stop it right now! Or YOU’LL be sorry when we get hold of you.”


    Dog disagreed, barking and pulling at the end of his rope. Middle Chick ran to hide under Hen’s safe wing.

    Let’s go,” said Hen. “We’ll really have to wait.” Little Chick peeped, “I want to try.”

    “Oh, no!” said Hen, as the other chicks laughed. “You’re much too small.”

    Little Chick yelled, “But I can RUN!” And off she went, tippy-toe, tippy-toe, as fast as she could. Straight toward Dog. Hen screamed and grabbed her heart. Big Chick closed his eyes. Middle Chick shook. Little Chick ran, tippy-toe, tippy-toe, without stopping to rest till she felt Dog’s breath. Then Little Chick laughed and began to run again. Tippy-toe, tippy-toe around the tree.

    Dog chased after her, tugging at his rope.




    Tippy-toe, tippy-toe around the tree. Tippy-toe, tippy-toe, tippy…RUFF-RUFF-RUFF!


    Around and around, tippy-toe, tippy-toe. Till…




    Dog’s rope was wrapped all around the tree. He was stuck and too mad to think “back up.”


    Hen clucked with pride. Big Chick and Middle Chick just stood and stared. Little Chick called, “It’s time to eat!”


    And off they ran, tippy-toe, tippy-toe. Right past Dog and into the garden for their favorite treat-sweet itty-bitty beans and potato bugs. “YUM!”



    Mole and the Baby Bird


    Mole found a baby bird. It had fallen out of its nest. Mole waited and waited: but no big bird came to help it – so Mole took the baby bird home. 

    He made a nest for it. “Look!” he said to his mother. “It’s very, very hard to take care of a baby bird,” she said. “They usually die,” said his dad. “My bird won’t die,” said Mole.

    His friends helped him find food for the baby. His mother showed him how to feed it. Mole fed it whenever it chirped. And the bird didn’t die! It grew.

    “It’s my pet bird,” said Mole. “It’s not a pet bird. It’s a wild bird,” said his mother. 

    The bird fluttered its wings. “Your bird is trying to fly,” said his mother. “No!” cried Mole. “It mustn’t fly!”

    Mole found some wood and some nails. He borrowed his dad’s toolbox. “What are you making?” asked his dad. “I’m making a cage for my pet bird!” said Mole. “It’s not a pet bird. It’s a wild bird,” said his dad. “You should let it fly.” “No!” cried Mole.

    He put the bird into its new cage. The bird was sad. Mole’s mother was sad too. But Mole kept his bird, because he loved it.

    Then – Granddad came to visit. He looked at Mole’s pet bird. Presently Granddad said, “Let’s go for a walk, little Mole.” Granddad took Mole to the top of a high hill. Mole looked down at the trees far below. He felt the wild wind trying to lift him. “Wheee! I’m flying!” cried Mole. “Nearly,” said Granddad. 

    When Mole got home he looked at his bird. It was sitting very still in its cage in Mole’s dark underground room. “Birds are meant to fly,” said Mole. He opened the cage door, and he let his bird fly away because he loved it. Then he cried.

    The next day Mole went into the forest. He saw his bird flying, soaring, free. And Mole was glad.


    Dot and Jabber

    The detectives had nothing to do.   “We need a mystery,” said Jabber. “Here’s a mystery,” said Dot.  “What is this little oak tree doing here?”  “Why is that a mystery?” Jabber wanted to know. “Because of the acorn,” said Dot. “How did it get here?”  “Dot,” said Jabber, “what acorn?”  “Acorns are oak tree seeds.  This little oak tree grew from an acorn, and acorns come from big oak trees.”

    “Oh, that acorn,” said Jabber.  “But where’s the big oak tree?”

    “That’s part of the mystery,” said Dot. “Let’s looks for clues.”  “Okay!” shouted Jabber.  “Because we’re detectives!” He poked his head into a hole.  “Hey, this is my hole,” said a mole.  “Go away.  There are no clues down here.  Try the big oak tree – on the other side of the meadow.  “Of course!” said Dot. “Come on, Jabber!”

    “That’s a long, long way,” said Jabber.  “How did our acorn get from there to here?  Do you think it walked?”  “Let’s find out,” said Dot.  “The acorn began at the big oak tree. So will we.”  The detectives set off across the meadow.

    After a while Jabber said, “I’m tired.  Can we wonder about all these maple seeds instead?”  “There’s no mystery in maple seeds,” said Dot.  “They have wings that twirl, and they ride on wind across the meadow.”

    “Maybe our acorn rode the wind too,” said Jabber.  “That is what we are going to find out,” said Dot.

    At last they arrived at the big oak tree.

    “Look!” said Dot.  “I bet there are a million acorns here.”

    “They don’t have wings,” said Jabber. “But they taste good.”  “Don’t eat them, Jabber!  They’re clues.”

    “Acorns don’t have wings, but they might have sneaky feet,” said Dot.  “Let’s keep watch and see if they start to move.”

    Plip.  An acorn dropped from the big oak tree.  Jabber poked it with a stick.  “This acorn isn’t going anywhere,” he said.  “None of them are.”

    A squirrel came and sat down among the acorns.

    “Jabber, look!” Dot whispered.  “What is he doing?”  “Oh!” gasped Jabber.  “He’s eating our clue!”  “He can’t be,” said Dot.   “The shell is still on it.”  “So why is he stuffing it in his mouth?” asked Jabber.

    The squirrel ran off.  “Oh no, he’s stealing the acorn!” the detectives cried and ran after him.

    When the squirrel stopped, they stopped and watched to see what would happen next.

    “What’s he doing now?” asked Jabber .

    “Digging a hole. Look!  He’s hiding the acorn.” said Dot.  “Our acorn crossed the meadow on squirrel feet.”  “And got planted by squirrel feet,” said Jabber.  “And grew into a little oak tree,” said Dot.

    “The mystery is solved.  We are two clever mouse detectives!”


                                          Simple Machines

    How do simple machines help us?

    We use machines every day. Machines help make our lives easier. Some machines, such as lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners, have many parts. Other machines have few parts. They are called simple machines. Levers, inclined planes, wheels and axles, and pulleys are four kinds of simple machines.

    This bottle opener is a kind of lever. It helps you remove the cap from a bottle. Some levers can help you move a heavy object, such as a rock. Push down on one end of a lever. The other end moves up and pushes against whatever you are trying to move. Have you ever ridden a see-saw? A seesaw is a kind of lever. One side goes up, while the other side goes down.

    Inclined planes are all around you. A plane is just a flat surface, like a wooden board. An inclined plane is a flat surface that is slanted. Ramps are inclined planes. It is easier to push a big load up a ramp than to lift it. A wedge is another kind of inclined plane. A wedge can help you cut wood. When a wedge is hit with a big

    hammer, its thin part splits the wood.

    Wheels help things go. An axle, or rod, connects a pair of wheels. The axle helps the wheels turn. Wheels are on bicycles and cars. It would be very hard to move a bike or car without wheels.

    A pulley helps you lift heavy objects. A pulley’s rope passes over a small wheel. Pull down on one end of the rope. You can lift a very heavy load tied to the other end. A pulley can help you raise and lower the flag on a flagpole. You can even lift the sail on a boat using a pulley.

    These children are using two kinds of simple machines. A wheelbarrow is a kind of lever, and it has wheels.

    Have you used any simple machines today? 


                                   Alexander Graham Bell

    Why is Alexander Graham Bell an important person to know?

    Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland in 1847. His father was a famous teacher who taught people how to speak well. Alexander’s mother was deaf. She was still able to teach him to play the piano. Alexander was good at music and science. Alexander was interested in sound. He also liked to invent things. He built a machine that could speak. He also tried to make his dog talk. In 1871, Alexander moved to Boston. During the day, he taught deaf students how to speak. At night, he did experiments with sound. Alexander wanted to learn more about electricity. In 1874, he met Tom Watson. Tom knew how electricity worked. They began to work together. Alexander stopped teach-ing. He did experiments day and night. He and Tom wanted to invent a machine that could send voices from one place to another. On March 10, 1876, Alexander and Tom reached their goal. Alexander spoke to Tom through the first telephone. Alexander and Tom made the telephone better. Soon it could send voices many miles. In 1915, they made the first telephone call across the United States. Alexander spent his life inventing. Alexander Graham Bell changed the way people communicate with one another.



                                                  Ben Franklin and His First Kite

    What will Ben do with his kite?

    Ten-year-old Benjamin Franklin was hard at work in his father’s candle shop. He was cutting wicks. He carefully laid out each one. Ben stretched his arms and let out a yawn. Candles could be tall or short, fat or thin, and even different colors. But

    there was nothing fun about candles for Ben.

    "When do you think we’ll be done today?" Ben asked his father.

    "Soon enough," his father answered. "Why? Do you have special plans?"

    Ben’s father smiled. It was a rare day indeed when Ben did not have a plan in mind.

    "Yes," said Ben. "I want to try an experiment at the millpond."

    "You’ll be swimming, then?" his father asked.

    Ben grinned. "Partly," he said.

    His father nodded. Ben was a fine swimmer.

    That afternoon Ben flew down the streets of Boston.

    He was headed for home. Along the way he noticed the waves cresting in the harbor. The ships rocked back and forth. That was good, he thought. He needed a strong wind today.

    When Ben got to his house, his mother met him at the door. Inside, two of his sisters were busy making hasty pudding by the hearth. Ben had sixteen brothers and sisters.

    "Ben," his mother said, "why are you in such a hurry?"

    Ben told her about his plan.

    "Since your father approves, I won’t keep you," said his mother. "Just be back for supper."

    Ben nodded. He ran to get the kite he had made the week before. Then he left the house. At the millpond a few of Ben’s friends had arrived to watch.

    "You’ve picked a poor place to fly a kite," said one.

    Ben shrugged. "I’m doing an experiment," he said.

    Ben got undressed. He gave his clothes to one of his friends.

    "Please carry these to the other side of the pond," he said.

    "What are you going to do?" asked the other boys. "Carry the kite while you swim?"

    "No," said Ben. "The kite is going to carry me."

    "But that kite is nothing special. It’s just paper, sticks, and string," said one boy.

    "That’s true," Ben said. "But you see, the kite isn’t the invention. The invention is what I’m going to do with it."

    Ben raised the kite in the air. Once the wind had caught and carried it aloft, Ben walked into the water. There he lay on his back, floating.

    "I’m going to cross this pond without swimming a stroke," said Ben. The wind tugged on the kite. The kite string tightened. The water began to ripple at Ben’s feet. The kite was pulling him! The boys whooped and hollered as Ben glided across the pond. Finally he reached the other side. The other boys met him there.

    "That was amazing!" said one.

    "You crossed the whole pond without swimming a stroke," said another.

    "What will you do next?" they asked.

    Ben didn’t know. But he was sure he would think of something.