Monday, July 27, 2009

Matter Its Properties & Its Changes

Matter – Its Properties & Its Changes
By Tom DeRoda and Carolyb Reeves
Published at Master Books
This book is part of the Investigate the Possibilities series and is geared toward students from grade 3 to 6. Its content is about elementary chemistry and the book is packed with tons of activities. Learning is fun when you have the possibility of applying it yourself.

The book is bright in colors and includes many images to attract the eye of the child. There is information to make you think as well as observation to be made while experimenting. In total there are 20 investigations to be made by the kids while going through this book. They will discover more about chemicals, bubbles, colors, water, acids, salt, metals, electricity and much more. The teaching deals also with the faith in God. The experiments use household items and teach the why and how things work, what they are made of and where they come from. The students will also get introduce to the periodic table.

Each chapter has various sections in it going from engaging the students to explain, apply, expand and assess the information. In each lesson the student will learn to think about an aspect of chemistry and he/she will also read about the science aspect of it as well as making connection with the methods, instruments and so on. At the end of the lesson, there are questions to make sure the student has understood the information he read and learned during the lesson.

Also available are the Teacher’s Guide and the Student Journal. The Teacher’s Guide contains information on how to plan and teach the lesson as well as guidance for the teacher. It also provides the answers to the questions the students have to answer. Each page also has a copy of the page from the book so that it’s easy to know which lesson the information refers to. The Student Journal is mostly a book where the student can write down the observations made during the experiments as well as answering the questions for comprehension. There is a section called Dig Deeper where the student can jolt down some answers to the questions/challenge offered in the Dig Deeper section of the book. For example, in lesson 1 the student need to find the name of one charity whose mission is to provide clean water to people who don’t have clean water to drink. Obviously, some research is needed to find the answer.

I was a little bit anxious on how I would introduce chemistry to my kids eventually. I think this book is an answer to prayer. You see chemistry was not my strong subject when I was in high school neither when I was in cégep which is why I gave up on being a vet and went into administration to eventually go into information technology. But deep down, I always loved medicine and so on. So when I got this book and saw how fun the book has been made for children, I was very happy to have had the opportunity to review it. I look forward to do some lessons with my 3rd grader this year when we start school. This book is well taught and contains relevant information as well. I like the fact that it gives the creation perspective of things. I’m very pleased to have discovered a chemistry book that doesn’t put God aside to teach the children. The experiments look very fun to do. I am particularly looking forward to do the one in lesson 2 which requires diapers.

I strongly recommend this book to every homeschooler who are teaching 3rd to 6th grades. You won’t be disappointed for sure.

Matter – Its Properties & Its Changes books are available at New Leaf Publishing as well as Unfortunately, this title is not available at

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