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Teacher’s questions for This Shrimp Packs a Punch


Before reading:

1. List what you know about lobsters, crabs, shrimp and other crustaceans.

2. Armor and weapons aren’t unique to humans. Can you think of any examples from nature?

During reading:

1. What gives mantis shrimp their cartoonish appearance?

2. How can a mantis shrimp smash glass?

3. Mantis shrimp share a partial name with the praying mantis. Why is that?

4. What is a smasher? A spearer?

5. Mantis shrimp do what with their clubs to make them even more lethal?

6. What is cavitation?

7. In what ways is a mantis shrimp’s eye so complex?

Teacher’s Questions for Cool Jobs: Green Science


Before reading:

1. List some ways a plant can change temperature, moisture, light and other aspects of its environment.

2. How would you expect the mix of plants in an ecosystem to respond to wetter climate conditions? How about to drier climate conditions?

During reading:

1.         Why are trees that grow along the tree line sometimes left without the energy to produce seeds?

2.         When the tree line moves north, what does the actual moving?

3.         Why would Canadian spruce forests move north faster rate than Scandinavian birch forests?

4.         List two ways trees can help warm their surroundings.

Teacher’s Questions for Whale of a Lesson


Before reading:

1. Explain what you know about whales. How many species can you name?

During reading:

1. Why can’t ships always avoid hitting whales in the Bay of Fundy?

2. Give two reasons why scientists were especially concerned to learn about Delilah’s death.

3. How did the right whale get its name?

4. Describe baleen and several of the things that people once used it for.

5. How many North Atlantic right whales remained when hunting the animals was outlawed in 1935?

6. What discovery did Scott Krauss make while flying over the Bay of Fundy in 1980?

7. How do scientists identify individual right whales?

Teacher’s Questions for Cool Jobs: Museum Science


Before reading:

1. Why are museums important?

2. What types of things can you learn from artifacts kept in a museum?

During reading:

1. How did museum specimens help Robert Baker discover the source of the 1990s hantavirus outbreak in New Mexico?

2. Explain how the discovery of hantavirus in rodents helped people limit infection with the deadly virus.

3. What are antibodies?

4. Explain how discovering arenavirus antibodies in deer-mouse lung samples led Charles Fulhorst and Robert Bradley to the arenavirus itself.

5. What did Bradley and Fulhorst compare to identify the seven new types of arenavirus?

Teacher’s Questions for Ahead of the wave


Before reading:

  1. Describe what you know about tsunamis.
  2. Explain why the force of even a small wave is enough to knock you over at the beach. (Hint: Think about the mass of water. One liter of water has a mass of one kilogram.)

During reading:

Teacher’s Questions for Climate’s Troublesome Kids


Before reading:

1. What’s the difference between climate and weather?

2. Explain what you know about the climate events El Niño and La Niña.

During reading:

1. During an El Niño, what happens to the northern trade winds in the Pacific Ocean? How does this impact sea surface temperatures in the Pacific?

2. What does “Southern Oscillation” refer to?

3. During a La Niña, what happens to the northern trade winds in the Pacific Ocean? How does this impact sea surface temperatures in the Pacific?

Teacher’s Questions for Delving into Dung


Before reading:

  1. What could an animal’s dung reveal about its diet?
  2. Why would studying an endangered or rare animal’s droppings be an easier, safer or more practical way to learn more about these species?

During reading:

Teacher’s Questions for Secret Signals


Before reading:

1. Animals communicate by sound, sight, touch, taste and smell. What might be some of the advantages of communicating by smell?

During reading:

1. When and why did emperor moths ignore Jean-Henri Fabre’s house?

2. Define pheromone.

3. Why would pheromones be useful to moths in search of potential mates at night?

4. List two chemical messages that foraging ants might share with one another.

5. Explain how pheromones can be used to capture insect pests.

6. Describe what Roger Hanlon and his colleagues saw off the shore of Cape Cod, Mass.

7. What was Hanlon’s explanation for the squid behavior he and his team witnessed?

Teacher’s questions for Science for All


Before Reading:

1. Think of any household product. Now brainstorm ways that science, technology, engineering or mathematics — any of the so-called STEM fields — could make it better.

During Reading:


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