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This is a collection of 6 short and engaging non-fiction stories. Each half-page article includes 3 to 4 reading comprehension, opinion, or application questions. Keys and a bibliography are also provided.
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1. Science and Thanksgiving: (genetics, selective breeding) Turkeys are twice as big as they were a century ago due to selective breeding. This is problematic for the turkeys.
2. Science and Mother’s Day: (ecological diversity, evolutionary advantage) Compared to these animals, human mothers have it easy.
3. Science and Columbus Day: (ecosystems, non-native species) Columbus’ arrival began the full scale European exploration and colonization of the Americas. The swapping of plants, animals, and microbes from the Old and New Worlds changed history.
4. Science and Valentine’s Day: (sexual and asexual reproduction) Finding a Valentine can be difficult when you live on a date seed or are cemented to a rock. How do button beetles, barnacles, and Bdelloid rotifers look for love?
5. Science and Halloween: (fungi) Historians argue as to whether fungus is to be blamed to the tragedy of the Salem Witch trials.
6. Science and Arbor Day: (genetics, cloning) Johnny Appleseed was a shrewd businessman who sold the trees from his orchards to new settlers. But because he planted his trees from seed, the apples were mostly inedible.