Hi there! What does your weekend look like? We have received over 8 inches of rain since Thursday, and it is showing no signs of letting up. We have played approximately seven thousand games of Candy Land, and I think we will be stuck in the house this weekend playing seven thousand more!
I am becoming a major fan girl of Mara Rockliff and for good reason. Her picture books are just fascinating! Rockliff has a knack for finding historical stories that I have never heard of and that seem to have been forgotten by time. This is the story of how Benjamin Franklin uses the scientific method to debunk a charismatic Parisian doctor, Dr. Mesmer.
When Ben Franklin traveled to Paris to ask the King and Queen to give America financial support during the Revolutionary War, he met Dr. Mesmer, a man who claimed to have the power of mind control and the ability to cure any illness. Dr. Mesmer (he is where the word "mesmerize" comes from) would set his patient in a trance, and by the time he was done with them, the patient was utterly convinced that he had cured them even though he hadn't really done a thing.
Once Franklin observed his practices, he was able to deduce that Dr. Mesmer wasn't actually curing his patients at all. This led to the concepts of the Placebo affect and the practice of testing new medical developments with "blind" studies. The story walks the reader through every step of the scientific method and how Franklin used it. This would be a great way to teach the scientific method to elementary age kids because it's really showing them how the process works instead of just telling them.
Have a great weekend, and whatever you have planned, make sure to take some time to read a good book!