Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed The World)


Written By: Mac Barnett

Illustrated By: Dan Santat


Before Reading

Explore Illustrations:

Take time to look over the front cover and illustrations throughout the book before starting the story. Be sure to ask questions about what your child predicts will happen in the story by asking:

What do you think will happen in this story?

[Looking at the front cover] What do you think her science project was?

How do you think the girl’s science project destroyed the world? What do you think it did?

[Flip to a specific page] What do you think is happening in this picture?

What do you think she is going to do to stop her robot?

Take a look at the blueprint for her science fair robot in the front of the book. Let your child look it over and bring your child’s attention to different elements by saying, “Wow, her robot is 120 yards tall and weighs 4,000 tons!” or “Its superclaw is 20,000 pounds! That’s a really big claw!” This will give your child some information on the size of the robot and how much damage it can do.


As You Read

Vocabulary Building:

Have your child pause when s/he comes to a word they don’t know. Encourage your child to discover the meaning of the word by using the words and illustrations surrounding it. An example of a new word from Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed The World) is PROGRAMMED.

Making Connections:  

Your child will be able to get more engaged with the story if connections are made between the story and his/her life experiences. For example, when the little girl thinks that she has an idea for how to stop the robot, ask your child, “Can you remember a time when you had a problem that you needed to solve? What was your idea to fix it? Did it work? Do you think her idea will work to stop the robot?”  If your child has ever participated in a science fair or made a science project, this is also a wonderful time to remember what s/he presented and compare it to what you preview in the book!


After Reading

Summarize and Interpret:

Ask your child questions at the end of the book to gauge their understanding of the story, as well as help them process the main points of the story. These questions may include:

What was your favorite part of the story? Why?

Why did the girl have to stop the robot?

The girl tried to stop the robot by shouting at him and showing him a poster that said, “Cut It Out, Buster!” Why didn’t the robot stop?

When the robot wouldn’t listen to her, she had to come up with an idea to stop it. How did she do that?

Her plan didn’t work out the way she wanted. What happened once the robot was gone? What do you think you would have done in this situation?


Activity: Create Your Own Science Fair Project!

Adapted by Science Bob

Supplies: 9” balloon, old cd or dvd, a pop-top cap from liquid soap bottle or water bottle, tape and a hot glue gun.

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  1. You can create your very own science fair project at home that WON’T destroy the world. This cool hovercraft turns everyday household items into a cool science demonstration that your child will love!
  2. Cover the center hole of the CD with a piece of tape and poke about 6 holes in the center with a push-pin or nail. This will help your hovercraft to hover longer by slowing down the air flow.
  3. Use the hot glue to glue the cap to the center of the disc. Make sure it has a good seal to keep air from escaping and keep the cap closed tightly.
  4. Blow up the balloon all the way and pinch the neck of it without tying it.
  5. Fit the neck of the balloon over the pop-up part of the cap.
  6. When you’re ready, just put the hovercraft on a smooth surface and pop the top open to let the hovering commence.

STEM Extension

Help your child understand what is happening when the hovercraft hovers.

The balloon’s air flow creates a cushion of moving air between the disc and the surface, which lifts the CD and reduces friction allowing the disc to hover freely. You can explain this to your child by saying, “When the balloon is all blown up and you pull the cap open, it pushes air out the bottom of the cd so that there is space between the cd and the table, allowing the craft to hover like this.”

Looking For More?

If you want more sciences activities to do with your child, Science Bob has some other really cool experiments that you can try at home as well!

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