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Thread: Reading Age

  1. #1
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    Reading Age

    What would the reading age of the book Bad Astronomy be?

    Would it be above the head of someone 7 to 9

    Without them ever seeing the book a relative said it was too old.

  2. #2
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    Never too young to start learning to tell good science from bad!
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2007-Jun-02 at 06:33 PM.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Without them ever seeing the book a relative said it was too old.
    Relative of whom? the recipient? if so, they might know what is appropriate. Some kids devour calculus at four, you know.

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    I'd've handled it just fine at age 9. Can't say about anyone else without knowing the person in question, though.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

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  5. #5
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    Just use a sharpie to change the title to "Harry Potter and the Cloak of Bad Astronomy!" and he/she will read it just fine.

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    Just tell the kid to look up whatever they don't understand. Kids are good at that, and reading "above" your level can be an education in itself.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #7
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    I tend to think that most things can be understood if you take the effort to. I have this issue with someone who says people should not have to take the time to say download and install Adobe Acrobat reader as they are too busy, so I have to supply documents in Word format.

    Since it is not a book written exclusively for little children, they have decided it will not be suitable and it is for adults only. Plus any book for children must have lots of pictures.

    Is BA around, so he can say if his book is suitable for a 7 year old who has, they say the reading age of 9?

  8. #8
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    maybe if the 7 year old had a reading age of 12

    JOOC how are you determining reading age?

  9. #9
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    My daughter is 11, and I know she could handle a lot of it. Then again, her father is an astronomer. :-) I would think a typical 12 year old would do OK, and younger kids might need more help.

  10. #10
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    BA book is OK for kids!

    Phil:
    Then I'll just have to get a copy of it into my 13 year old's hands. She's in middle school now and won't go to star parties anymore because "My friends won't be there!" Yours will probably do this soon... Don't take it personally, it's a phase they go through. But a book? That's another matter, no friends needed! That just might help keep her astronomy chops honed!

    Attached is a photo from Xmas 2005. She was thrilled.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
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    A seven to nine year old could read it if her reading skills were well in advance of most children that age. However, a child that age would probably only read it if her interests included astronomy. If she's not interested she'll never read it without massive bribery. And even if a child is extremely bright they still will usually not start to develop the capacity for adult levels of abstract thought until they become teenagers, so even if she was interested and read the book and retained a great deal of it, she might have difficulty applying what she learned to different situations to determine what is reasonable astronomy and what is bad astronomy. Remember that many seven year olds still believe in Santa Claus and other gods.

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    So what book would you recommend for someone of that age?

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    perhaps, what you are hinting at, Sticks, is that the BA could write a book, specifically for that age?
    ................................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    perhaps, what you are hinting at, Sticks, is that the BA could write a book, specifically for that age?
    I think Phil has another project on the go, I was after an off the shelf solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Just tell the kid to look up whatever they don't understand. Kids are good at that, and reading "above" your level can be an education in itself.


    I'm reading a children's bible right now with lots of pictures. It's way over my head. But of course it is in a foreign language I'm just now starting to get the hang of.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

  16. #16
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    I disagree with your ideas about children, Ronald, I'm afraid. The children of my experience have made plenty of abstract leaps before puberty.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I disagree with your ideas about children, Ronald, I'm afraid. The children of my experience have made plenty of abstract leaps before puberty.
    He qualified it, he didn't say children weren't capable of abstract thought, just not many are capable of "adult levels of abstract thought". Probably meant things like "Santa Claus is a god" and similar adult abstractions.

  18. #18
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    I don't think I ever thought Santa Claus was a god, and by seven, I knew his only existence was as a Catholic saint.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  19. #19
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    you were luckier than some.




    what does abstract thought have to do with Bad Astronomy?


    I'm afraid to think that some of you give it more credit than just a compilation of easily found knowledge.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

  20. #20
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    Meanwhile, what children's book on astronomy would one recommend?

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    I disagree with your ideas about children, Ronald, I'm afraid. The children of my experience have made plenty of abstract leaps before puberty.
    I was referring more to cognitive abilities such as described by Piaget's formal operations stage. And while I'm sure these abilities are correllated with puberty, I don't think they are dependant upon it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    what does abstract thought have to do with Bad Astronomy?

    I'm afraid to think that some of you give it more credit than just a compilation of easily found knowledge.
    Ouch

    but, uh, abstract does not mean abstruse

  23. #23
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    maybe the word "just" is harsh. I give Phil a lot of credit for putting it all together, and he may even have come up with a little of that on his own.

    What I use the book for is when a friend says something silly about astronomy rather than going through the fuss (which I would have done before reading the book) I just point said friend to the chapter involved. Phil nicely puts things together so I can save the time of explaining it myself.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

  24. #24
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by RIchard B. Drumm View Post
    Phil:
    Then I'll just have to get a copy of it into my 13 year old's hands. She's in middle school now and won't go to star parties anymore because "My friends won't be there!" Yours will probably do this soon... Don't take it personally, it's a phase they go through. But a book? That's another matter, no friends needed! That just might help keep her astronomy chops honed!

    Attached is a photo from Xmas 2005. She was thrilled.
    Dad, is that you?

    tbm

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIchard B. Drumm View Post
    Phil:

    Attached is a photo from Xmas 2005. She was thrilled.
    That's is FANTASTIC! Mind if I mention that on my blog and link to this thread?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Meanwhile, what children's book on astronomy would one recommend?
    I’m not so great at determining which books are appropriate for a particular age although I can give you the names of some books that I have read during my childhood:

    The Usborne Complete Book of Astronomy and Space
    New Astronomer by Carole Stott
    anything from The Magic Schoolbus

    And as a graduation gift my astronomy teacher gave me a rather huge book called Cosmos by Giles Sparrow. It has tons of huge pretty pictures which was what attracted me to astronomy when I was that age.

    That's all I can think of right now but if any more come to mind I'll be sure to post them.

  27. #27
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    My class of Year 10s (aged 14-15 years of age) last year contained a few students who enjoyed reading the book, with one student using it as the basis of her report - on Moon Hoaxes.

    This year I've have one 13 year old use some of it as the basis of her report on astrology.

    My suggestions for younger readers include - these were suggested by our librarian and involved some looking on the shelves:
    The Planets - note that Pluto is still included.
    When is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto - very timely!
    National Geographic Planets, Stars, and Galaxies: A Visual Encyclopedia of Our Universe
    Janice VanCleave's the Solar System: Mind-Boggling Experiments You Can Turn into Science Fair Projects (Paperback)
    Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities

    (oh - Solar System for the shower... )

  28. #28
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    When I was in second grade, I had a tenth grade reading level. I read C.S. Lewis' Narnia books at eight. I just recently read Cosmos and I'm still to young to drive. My brothers couldn't read until they were about six. Reading levels are different for everybody.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I read C.S. Lewis' Narnia books at eight.
    It looks like the Narnia books are generally considered to be appropriate for grade three or four (US, about age nine). I'd think they'd be more accessible than the BA's book(s).

  30. #30
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    It looks like the Narnia books are generally considered to be appropriate for grade three or four (US, about age nine). I'd think they'd be more accessible than the BA's book(s).
    I know some 14 year olds Narnia would be over the heads of.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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