Earlier this year I reviewed Area Formulas for Parallelograms, Triangles and Trapezoids from AIMS. I thought it was a great product that was reasonably priced.
Again the opportunity presented itself to review another AIMS product. Being a Geology aficionado, I jumped for joy when I saw Earth Science on the list! This study ROCKS!
Description from their website:
"50 activities — 336 pages Students explore soil, rocks/minerals, the water cycle and properties of water. In the section on Earth Changes, students will look at weathering and erosion. The Resources section has them classifying resources as renewable and nonrenewable. The book ends with a section on pollution."
Though Earth Rocks is geared for grades 4-5, this study could easily be expanded for an advanced 3rd grader or an older student. (Though your older child might not enjoy some of the more 'basic' activities such as making mini-books.)
Each section is broken down into a teaching page that includes all pertinent information needed for the activity, a mini-book to make, comprehension questions that can be written or done orally and additional illustrated labwork pages. These lab pages are definitely not your average fill-in-the-blank worksheets. AIMS does a great job inspiring learning and not squelching it with nonsense.
Written for schools, this study can be used for Homeschoolers with mostly a minimal effort. There are some lab activities that require out of the ordinary objects such as a balance or water table. These will either have to be searched out or constructed ahead of time.
Before I tell you more about this curriculum, I do want to let my readers know that Earth Rocks is a secular product. In this book, there's not a mention of "millions of year" until page 187 in the Erosion section called Carving Canyons. After that it is mentioned sporadically in the teachers pages for the next 60 pages. So, it would be quite easy to use this 332 paged book without quoting questionable dates.
Some might wonder why as a literal Creation minded Christian I would want to review (and possibly endorse) a product that teaches 'millions of years'.
I have to be honest. While I whole hearted believe in a Young Earth/Intelligent Design, many of the Christian Earth Science Curriculum I've reviewed contain errors in their explanation and/or presentation of rocks and minerals.
In my opinion, this is the basis of Geologic study!
First of all, what I like about this book is that AIMS treats the student as intelligent enough to comprehend the difference between rocks and minerals --- and not use the two terms interchangeably as I've seen in other curriculum.
I also like the way AIMS breaks down the mineral identification into many faceted exercises AND gives you the option of buying one of their kits. Now, while you might think this is strictly a ploy to make money, it's actually a much better way to learn to identify minerals. Buying the accompanying kit gives the inexperienced teacher/parent absolute certainty in the answer rather than just guessing at a random pile of minerals and rocks. Once the student is comfortable with identifying the most common found minerals, it makes identifying and understanding rocks much easier.
My 3rd and 5th graders enjoyed the first section of this study so much that we will continue with it over the summer! This is also one resource that I would be very happy to teach in a co-op setting as well!
You can visit the AIMS website to learn more about their other multi-level science and math resources at: http://www.aimsedu.org/
Here's what other crew members are saying!
I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.