For this review I am going to discuss both the textbook and the teacher’s guide with student pages in the same post since they are designed to be used together.
Each two page spread has really wonderful photos and illustrations. In this way the book is unlike any science textbook I remember as a child. The book is written from a Creationist perspective and presents evidence that Noah’s flood is responsible for the earth’s geological formations (not millions of years…) The book is written mainly for grades 3-8. According to the section titled How To Use This Book, the learning process recommended for this book is: Engage, Investigate, Explain, Apply, Expand, and Assess and this pattern is used in each chapter through the following presentation of material.
Each Investigation (chapter) begins with a series of questions and information to think about (engage) before you begin the study. Procedures and Observations (investigate) are next and include such activities as drawing latitude and longitude lines on an orange, making a mountain out of clay to demonstrate a contour line, and putting sand and water into a tray (following specific instructions of course!) to observe the effects of rain on soil. The Science Stuff section of each chapter is designed to explain the investigation section and is informational text and illustrations. The Making Connections (apply) section is more text and illustrations that connect the information between each chapter. A Dig Deeper (expand) section provides suggestions for further study such as finding a map of the drainage system in your area and try to trace the path of rainwater from your home to the ocean. Finally a series of questions help both the student and the teacher evaluate how much a student remembers (assess). In addition to the 20 Investigations, several narrative sections about creation apologetics, historical biography, challenges and projects are scattered through the book and a glossary is at the end of the book.
Notice how beautiful the illustrations and pictures are in this book!
The teacher’s guide has black and white miniatures of each page and a lists of questions and suggestions to further guide the student throughout the process of study. Also included in the teacher’s guide is a recommended schedule for an 18 week semester, which is to spend 5 hours per week and complete roughly 20 of the activities.
In the back of the Teacher’s Guide are perforated student journal pages which can be removed and copied. Permission to copy these pages is not given with the copyright notice, but it is mentioned in several locations in the teacher’s instruction section that you can make copies. The journal pages are intended to help the student document what they learned in the Procedure and Observation section, illustrate what they learned from doing the dig deeper projects, and answer the questions in written form. In addition, the student is encouraged to come up with two questions about the subject to stump the teacher or his peers.
My Bottom Line: I agree with the age recommendation for this book. I believe my ten year old son would enjoy learning with this material and would love the activities. I think my 7 year old would get quite a bit out of this material as well. While I would love to have 5 hours for Science, I do not think 5 hours of me teaching Science for two students is feasible. I rely quite a bit on Science reading material that can be done independently and teach Science for about one hour to the whole group. I do think this book could be adapted for independent use, and I get excited thinking about doing the procedures and observations with my younger crew; but I have to admit I like the John Hudson Tiner books more. 🙂 I also think this book is very well written and the material is beautifully presented. I would love to see a comprehensive list of supplies in an index. The authors suggest that you look ahead and make a list so that you only have to make one trip to the hardware store; but it would have been so much nicer if they had made the list for me. ;). I have tried to include lots of objective (factual) information about what is found in the books and several pictures because I have not used this material with my children. I do think The Earth: It’s Structure and It’s Changes will work for many families and is quality material.
Disclaimer: Both the book and the teacher’s guide were provided to me for free through the Page Turners program at Creation Conversations. In exchange, I agreed to write an honest review on my blog. Here you have it.