Friday, August 16, 2013

In the Hands of a Child: National Parks Curriculum {A Review}

In the Hands of a Child sent us a download of their National Parks Curriculum Project Pack (regularly $12.00, on sale for a limited time $5.00) recommended for 4th through 8th grade.

 Project Pack Description
What is a Project Pack? A Project Pack is similar to lapbook in its requirements. It includes activities and the lesson plans or research guide needed to complete the activities. Project Packs can be used alone to teach a topic or as a supplement. Each Project Pack contains vocabulary and time line activities. 

To construct a Project Pack, simply lay a file folder flat, then fold the sides into the middle folded line, and attach as many folders to one another as are needed. 

It is a set of file folders refolded into an accordion style.  This makes for very easy storage. 

Each pack includes:
  • introduction-explains what is in each section
  • table of contents-what is included in each pack
  • research guide-all of the lessons
  • bibliography-related books and websites
  • core concepts-lists and explains what will be covered
  • graphics-graphic organizers and templates for record keeping of information
  • folder instructions-explains how to fold the file folders
  • sample pictures-pictures of completed Project Packs
Materials Needed
  • file folders
  • paper
  • markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • tape
  • glue
  • scissors
  • stapler

National Park Project Pack
The National Park Project Pack covers information about National Parks. There are lots of graphic organizers, an extension activity, a bonus activity, vocabulary, time lines, and other writing opportunities (post card design, brochure, recipe card). Topics include:
  • National Parks and introduction
  • National Park Service
  • Most visited parks
  • US National Parks Geological Records
  • Junior Ranger Program
  • Hiking
  • National Park Issues
  • Protecting National Parks

The National Parks that are discussed:
  • Isle Royale NP
  • Acadia NP
  • Badlands NP
  • Cuyahoga Valley NP
  • Death Valley NP
  • Denali NP and Preserve
  • Everglades NP
  • Glacier NP
  • Grand Canyon NP and The Grand Canyon
  • Grand Teton NP
  • Great Smokey Mountains NP and Great Smokey Mountains
  • Olympic NP
  • Rocky Mountain NP
  • Yellowstone NP
  • Yosemite NP
  • Zion NP

How we Used it

I broke the readings down according to the suggestions and stapled the pages together. Then I put all of the activity pages together with the appropriate readings.

Each day that Ceesa worked on the pack, I would give her the assigned readings and she would work on her pages. On one of the days, we had the opportunity to work on scanning and skimming for information. I gave her the assignment and we had an unexpected interruption. It is the perfect project for teaching such a skill.

At the end of the project, we worked on putting the Project Pack together. This is the only part of the project that we actually worked on together. However, I wouldn't even have been required to help her if she had used Project Packs before. Since it was the first time she used it, I modeled how to put them together.

Ceesa Learned
Ceesa says, "I learned that there are a lot of National Parks in America. There is a place called Death Valley National Park. Denali National Park has three parts: tundra, moist tundra, and dry tundra. Some parks have thousands of visitors a year."

Ceesa Liked
Ceesa's favorite part was putting the pack together. She liked using the folders and deciding how to put the information onto the folders in a way that flowed and fit. It was like a design project for her and she loves to be creative and work on things according to her taste.

We printed everything from the download as it was provided. Some of it is in color and some of it is black line. There were some pictures and graphics that were in color in the reading section, but the activity pages were all black line.

Ceesa is at an age where coloring is an extra fun thing. It is not really important for her fine motor skills at this point. When we got to the end of the project and it was time to put everything together, we decided she should color some of the pages so that they looked nice in the pack. 

It would be great if they would have been in color so that she wasn't required to color. While she enjoys coloring, we don't do so as an educational activity and she told me she really didn't like having to color the pages.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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Wishing you homeschool blessings,


Melissa Cwell said...

We wished for color too. I supposed that would have taken more ink to print out though, but yeah. . . that would have been more attractive to my Girl.

Bethany said...

Just a little thing, but one we would have appreciated! :)

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