The Toy and the Twister by Gillian King-Cargile
A fluff-brained bunny named Bear gets left outside during a storm. The only thing that can save him is science . . . and a sassy doll named Sadie Scientist. Together, the toys get sucked into a tornado. Sadie helps Bear understand extreme weather and storm safety, but when they begin to fall, Bear has to think quickly to save his new friend. This fun, fast-paced adventure will entertain young readers while introducing them to weather and climate concepts aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. After the adventure, read an interview with a real-life meteorologist!
Illustrator Kevin Krull on The Toy and the Twister
We sit down with Kevin Krull, illustrator of the book “The Toy and the Twister,” by our very own Gillian King-Cargile. He talks about the process of illustrating a children’s book, and what kids should do if they want to become illustrators!
Storming the Museum!
On July 19th, STEMRead and Argonne National Laboratories stormed the museum! At DuPage Children’s Museum, kids were able to learn about wind and tornadoes in fun ways, from stories about tornadoes to a tornado chamber. Find out what you missed from a few of the kids themselves, who talk about their favorite parts of the day and what they learned.
What is Climate Disruption? With Argonne National Lab
We sit down with Doug Sisterson, climate scientist with Argonne National Lab, to talk about climate disruption, climate change, and severe weather.
How Does Climate Change Affect Us? With Argonne National Lab
Doug Sisterson, climate scientist with Argonne National Lab, talks to us about how climate change affects everyone, and what you can do to help stop it.
Meteorology with Walker Ashley
Wanna know more about meteorology? We talk to Walker Ashley, professor of meteorology, to talk about how to study the weather.
Storm Safety with Walker Ashley
Walker Ashley, professor of meteorology at NIU, teaches us a little bit about storm safety, and tells us why we shouldn’t panic in severe weather situations.
Check out activities related to the book and find links to the complete lesson plans, which are aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
Tornado Shelter Engineering Challenge
Design, build and test model buildings that could be used to keep people safe during a tornado.
Use these pre-, during-, and post-reading activities to help students engage with the concepts and characters in The Toy and the Twister.
Twist Up Your Classroom
Get students excited about the concepts in The Toy and the Twister by creating a collaborative collage or sculpture of a tornado.
Wow students while teaching weather concepts by creating a tornado in a jar.
Write Your Own Adventure
Channel your students’ imaginations and love of their toys into fun and descriptive stories by having them write what would happen if their toys were sucked into a tornado.
Blowing in the Wind
Students will build their own windsock that can be used to make observations and predictions about the weather.
Blowin’ In The Wind Coloring Sheet
Students will learn how to secure and reinforce a shelter in the event of a tornado during this engineering challenge.
Video Discussion Guide
Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.
About the Author
Author Gillian King-Cargile is director of Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read program (stemread.com), which introduces young readers to the science, technology, engineering, and math concepts behind popular fiction. She holds a BA in film production and an MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University, and lives with her husband and daughter in DeKalb, Illinois.
Illustrator Kevin Krull holds a BFA in illustration from Northern Illinois University. His illustrations have appeared in Creative Quarterly and have been shown in the Chicago area. He loved to color when he was a kid, and obviously he never quite grew up—he lives in Westmont, Illinois, where he continues to draw and color all day long.