Our Five in a Row book this week is Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. It is a wonderful story (all the boys love it) about Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne. We did a short experiment for science today to try to explain to the boys what a steam powered engine is and how it works. First we made a pinwheel (pattern compliments of the Five in a Row appendix) and attached the pinwheel to a pencil by sticking a straight pin through the eraser. Then we put some water in the tea kettle and waited for it to boil. While we were waiting we had a discussion about what would happen when the water got hot (steam would form and it would be very hot so we would have to be very careful.) when the water really got boiling we put the pinwheel in front of the steam and it made the pinwheel move. the boys were very excited to see this work and they now have a better understanding about what a steam powered engine is.