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Soap Bubbles

Ellen Beers McGowan, M.A.
School of Household Arts, Teachers College, Columbia University

This delightful book was originially published in 1929 by the MacMillan Company and was intended for use in the public school classroom.

We at The Phunny Farm hope you enjoy this unit study as much as we enjoyed preparing it!


          This book aims to present in story form a type of information which children of the upper elementary grades naturally seek. At this age of childhood there awakens a keen interest in material things, especially as these relate to science. Scientific phenomena, processes by which raw material is converted into forms for human use, elementary facts in physics and chemistry - these arouse curiosity and stimulate a desire for knowledge.
          It is a wise and creative teacher who uses the questions and enthusiasms of her pupils upon which to build curriculum material, if the subject is such as will enrich their daily lives, increase their practical efficiency, or cultivate appreciations and habits of judgment. The program in industrial science may well be flexible enough to allow for the leads of the pupils in its subject matter.
          The method of presentation in this book is merely suggestive. The teacher will find the content adapted for use either as supplementary reading matter or as a textbook in elementary industrial science. For either purpose, the additional exercises will prove helpful in making connections with history, geography, and other fields. For the sake of the continuity of the story, no attempt has been made to divide the material into lesson allotments.


Part I - Soaps

I. Jimmy Martin Needs Soap

II. When did People First use Soap?

III. Soap Two Hundred Years Ago

IV. Jimmy's Class makes Soap

V. The Class Visits a Soap Factory

VI. The Class finds out Why Soap cleanses

VII. Jimmy Learns about Hard and Soft Water

VIII. Builders? What are they?

IX. Clothing Speaks

X. How to choose Soap

XI. Other Ways to Use Soap

XII. Doctor Jim talks about Soap

XIII. A Soap-Bubble Party

Part II - Scourers

XIV. Friction in the Martin Family

XV. Strange Sights and New Ideas

XVI. Questions and Answers

XVII. Abrasive from under Land and Sea

XVIII. We make a Scouring Soap

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