We had the opportunity to review The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume One: Zoology both the book and the lapbook which are recommended for Kindergarten through 5th Grade. My son is somewhere between Kindergarten and First Grade.
The book is a 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, paperback with 301 pages and 18 Chapters. Each chapter is approximately 15 pages. There are small black & white pictures throughout the book. It is classified as a living book. Do you know what a “living book” is? If you are at all familiar with Charlotte Mason methods you do! (Please stop by and check out my other Charlotte Mason information!) If you aren’t familiar with Charlotte Mason, here is what she has to say about them (taken from the Simply Charlotte Mason site):
“Living books are usually written by one person who has a passion for the subject and writes in conversational or narrative style. The books pull you into the subject and involve your emotions, so it’s easy to remember the events and facts. Living books make the subject “come alive.” They can be contrasted to dry writing, like what is found in most encyclopedias or textbooks, which basically lists informational facts in summary form.”
Anyway, the book is wonderfully written and definitely brings out the fun of reading and learning while not just reading a boring book. This book captures your attention and holds it throughout. It is simple enough for the youngest to enjoy but also elaborate enough that older kids will get much out of it as well.
The story is about two twins, the Sassafras kids, who are failing Science so their parents send them to their Uncle’s house to learn Science over the summer. They are bummed because that is the LAST thing they wanted to do! However, upon arrival, their Uncle tells them about an invention he has made that will allow them to learn Science through real life experiences. And in these experiences, they cannot move on to the next learning experience until they have fulfilled the requirements of the one before it. With this invention they actually GO TO the place / thing they are learning about…REAL LIFE LEARNING! For instance, when learning about lions, cheetahs, elephants and giraffe’s…they are actually TAKEN TO the Africa Grasslands. This DOES bring fun and excitement in to learning Science for them!
Mix this book with the following lapbook and literally watch the book come alive! It is an ebook lapbook that consists of 108 pages and eight lapbook kits. The lapbook lays out a possible schedule you may want to use for both the book and the lapbook. (Handy tool for those who like a little more planning done for them! But can also be changed or skipped by those who like the freedom to plan things themselves.) All the templates are provided so once you print them off and cut them out you are ready to go! (And, you can have the older kids cut them out themselves, if you’d like.)
Here is the lapbook for the first part of the book. We enjoyed the reading as well as the lapbook! We printed off the provided templates and glued them to the lapbook. There were “SCIDAT notebooks” (part of the story but basically where the information for each animal was kept), maps, and vocabulary words. I found this was a WONDERFUL way to review what we had read as once we read a part we did that part of the lapbook (like the giraffe…once we read about it, we did that part of the lapbook). (Now keep in mind that my son is not a big “coloring kid” so he skipped that part. Additionally, he cannot write words yet so I wrote his thoughts down in his “scidat” booklets for him.)
There are also fun “scientific experiments” in the lapbook using mostly things you have already handy around your house. The one below is where we were learning about how animal eyes reflect light; all we needed was a toilet paper roll, aluminum foil, a rubber band and a flash light…neat, simple way to explain and SHOW how it works!
Overall we are VERY IMPRESSED with this curriculum item…we are having A LOT of fun learning while using it!
And the cost? I feel it is reasonable. You can order just the book for $15.99 and just the lapbook for $15.00 or you can order as a set for $29.99.
Here’s praying you have fun learning!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this free in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.