The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes  -     By: Tom DeRosa, Carolyn Reeves
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This homeschool product specifically reflects a Christian worldview.
 The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes

Master Books / 2010 / Paperback

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  • In This Series (4)
Companion Products (4)
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In This Series (4)

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Product Description

Mapping the earth, earthquakes, growing crystals, fizzing rocks, physical and chemical weathering, sinkholes, and glaciers - - these activities are adventurous and educational! Your young scientists will love learning with these easy-to-read lessons and 20 hands-on experiments. The creation-based earth science curriculum covers the structure of the earth, changing weather, changing rocks, and extreme weather from a biblical perspective. Grades 3 to 6. 88 pages with glossary, 11" x 8.5" softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Master Books
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.50 X 11.00 X 0.25 (inches)
ISBN: 0890515913
ISBN-13: 9780890515914
Availability: In Stock
Series: Investigate the Possibilities

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Geology is a fascinating subject, but how can you teach it without all the evolutionary bias? Master Books offers the opportunity with The Earth: Its Structure and Its Changes by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves. It is part of the Investigate the Possibilities series.

Aimed at third through sixth graders, the full-color text contains twenty lessons. DeRosa and Reeves divide each lesson into six or seven parts. Each lesson starts with an anecdote that ties into the lesson. The second part is an experiment or investigation. Then comes the scientific explanation. "Dig Deeper" gives options to have the child research. "Making Connections" relates the lesson to something going on in the world around us. Most lessons conclude with questions, but some offer another segment relating the lesson to Scripture. As a couple examples, the chapter on minerals ties Genesis 1: 9-10 to the formation of crystals in the land. The lesson on volcanoes includes a two-page spread about Mt. St. Helens.

The lessons are well-written and interesting with a creationist thrust. The investigations appear appropriate and doable for a small school or homeschooling mom. They use common materials.

However, my husband who has taught junior high and high school science was not nearly as impressed. He felt that the creationism should have been stronger. He also considered some of the experiments/investigations weak and found the introductory material smarmy. He also disliked the environmental nagging.

With my twenty-plus years of homeschooling and some years of teaching in Christian schools, I thought the anecdotes would help interest students who are not fond of science, students like my daughter. I was surprised that creationism was not stressed more, but it is firmly present. I think busy homeschooling moms can handle the experiments without serious frustration, and I did not find the environmental material overly intrusive. (Sorry, but I’m all "greened" out.)

All in all, I believe this is a text that I would enjoy teaching from and that my daughter could learn from. I find it age appropriate, well written, and interesting. With a few reservations, I endorse this book. – Debbie W. Wilson,

Product Reviews

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  1. Metro Manila, Philippines
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Good Quality Elementary Earth Science book
    January 26, 2012
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Today's homeschool review is a Science book that Artsy Princess is currently studying - The Earth: Its Structure and Its Changes (Investigate the Possibilities: Elementary Earth Science) by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group. I was given a free PDF copy of the textbook, the Teacher's Guide and Student Journal. This review is for the textbook only. I will write another review for The Teacher's Guide and Student Journal.

    First off, I want to say that this Science book is unlike any textbook I have seen so far. Though I don't claim to have seen them all, I know that this one is different because of the way it is arranged. Every chapter is called an Investigation thereby conditioning the child to think that this is not just mere studying of a textbook, it is learning by experience and discovery. Each investigation is only about 5 pages long. This book has 20 investigations that can be finished in 20 weeks. Every page is filled with colorful pictures that serve to pique the learner's interest even more. Furthermore, the experiments always come with pictures of the procedure or the outcome, which is a big help to me and my student.

    Every Investigation has seven parts:

    Think about this (Engage) - Usually a very short excerpt of young children discussing the current topic. This arouses the child's curiosity and reminds them of what they already know of the topic.

    The Investigative Problem(s) - This part asks a question or two about the topic so that students know what they should be watching out for.

    Gather These Things - Lists down everything needed for the experiment. I do wish that there is a central list for all the things needed to conduct all the experiments. The good thing about this is that most, if not all, of the things needed are easily obtainable from general stores.

    Procedures and Observations (Investigate) - Here's where the fun part begins - the experiment or science activity. The instructions given are very easy to follow. Here is where they will begin to observe what is happening.

    The Science Stuff (Explain) - This section explains what just happened during the Procedures and

    Observations part. The book is arranged so that the students always conduct the experiment or investigation first before reading The Science Stuff.

    Making Connections (Apply) - This part explains further how this can be applied to real life situations. Learning cannot really be made permanent without learning its application in real life.

    Dig Deeper (Expand) - This is an optional section that a student can choose to do if the topic is interesting for him. Another way to use this is to have the older student do more research on the project.

    What Did You Learn? (Assess) - By its name, you know that this is the part that quizzes the student on what she has learned.

    We have not yet finished The Earth: Its Structure and Its Changes (Investigate the Possibilities: Elementary Earth Science) but have learned so much already. We like that its format makes it easy to follow along. It is designed for students in Grades 3-8 so this is great material for those who have multi-level children. The authors have a creationist point of view which makes it ideal for Christian families.
  2. Sylva, NC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great investigations!
    November 27, 2011
    Sylva, NC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The Earth: Its Structure and Its Changes is an elementary earth science book that does not disappoint. From the introduction of the Teacher's Guide and Student Journal book, it reads, "The overall goal for each workbook is to include three components; good science, creation apologetics, and Bible references." Not only does it do all three that is listed, it also gives the kids a love of science as it teaches about the mysteries of the earth.

    The book has 20 different investigations that you and your kids can do together. It gives the students a chance to learn more about God's creation. The authors have a process that they give the kids to work with.

    Think about This (Engage)

    The Investigative Problem(s)

    Gather These Things

    Procedures and Observations (Investigate)

    The Science Stuff (Explain)

    Making Connections (Apply)

    Dig Deeper (Expand)

    What Did You Learn? (Assess)

    As the kids go through each process they will also learn about some of the early scientists and engineers and how they believed. They will also find creation apologetics and Bible lessons. For the kids to get the maximum of information out of this study, they recommend that you do each lesson in order. This way, each lesson will build on one another. It will have the students asking even more questions and doing more research to figure out the truth.

    The teacher's guide comes with student journal pages that can be torn out, so that the kids can make a notebook out of it. The journal pages have more questions and an area where the kids can make a drawing of their investigation or what they have learned.

    While this book is geared towards kids in grades 3rd-6th, I had my 7th grader working in it and had her younger siblings watching on as she did the procedures. She enjoyed the little projects and investigations learning new information as she did the work. I would definitely recommend it to any homeschooling family who has a love of science!

    I was given this book by New Leaf Publishing group, in exchange for an honest review.
  3. Yoder, CO
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great earth science for mid- to upper- elementary
    April 23, 2011
    Debra Brinkman
    Yoder, CO
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I had the opportunity to review The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves for Page Turners, I jumped at it. I've reviewed another in this series (Energy: Its Forms, Changes and Function) which we loved.

    We were not disappointed. This book is as good as the other we've used. And since yesterday was Earth Day, I thought it was about time I posted a review.

    Wow! is a pretty good single word summary. These books are intended for grades 3-6, and I used this with my 4th grader, and also my 1st grader.

    The "specific learning process" mentioned by the publisher is to Engage, Investigate, Explain, Apply, Expand and Assess. Most science programs seem to take the approach that you start with Explain, and then maybe tack on some Investigate or Apply, and definitely do some Assess. I love the idea of starting off by getting the kids interested and involved, and only then doing the reading parts.

    How does that work in reality? Well, let me talk through Investigation 1.

    Engage: this involves a very short little story about two kids looking at a globe and wondering about the countries of Togo and Greenland. It takes a couple of minutes, and sets up the whole rest of the section.

    Investigate: the problem being investigated is "How can the countries on a round earth be shown on a flat map?" and "What do lines on the map tell us?" Okay, so Thomas has explored this before, and was pretty quick to give some answers. Nevertheless, we proceeded to draw on an orange or two, creating an equator, and some other lines of latitude and longitude, and some continents.

    Then we cut off the peel and looked at our resulting map. The continents at the North Orange Pole (the name given by my kids, not the book) and the South Orange Pole were way bigger than they had been on the orange. Both boys really GOT this idea, first hand. It was fabulous.

    Explain: this is covered in the bulk of the text for the unit, "The Science Stuff" and it talks about things like longitude and latitude using the orange as an example, then applying it to the globe and map. This section does involve a fair amount of reading, but still, we're talking maybe 15 minutes.

    Apply: this section talked about time around the world, and it talked about GPS devices. In this case, the apply section was basically another few minutes of reading, but some of the others involve activities like comparing pictures of rock layers. The kids loved this generally.

    Expand: The expand section generally gives a couple of ideas to go "Dig Deeper" with some of the issues. In this investigation, we were interested in both suggestions, so we did them. The first involved the differences between the geographic and magnetic poles. The second involved figuring out what time it is right now in various cities around the world. In other investigations, we would only do one activity, or sometimes none. We love the variety of activities presented here.

    Assess: The assess section involved a few questions that we covered orally. Questions such as "Is the International Date Line a longitudinal line or a latitudinal line?"

    We love these books. They cover the topics pretty thoroughly, and in a great hands-on and Biblical way. Most of the materials are pretty easy to obtain, which I appreciated. I just had to remember to look ahead a week or two, so I'd be sure to have oranges on hand, for instance, or paper plates.

    The photos in the book are fabulous and really drew my boys in. The activities were almost all total hits as well. I did have a couple of quibbles with how some information was presented, but nothing major, especially factoring in that this is intended for 8-12 year olds, not geology PhD candidates.

    I highly recommend these books as a great way to do science with mid- to upper-elementary students.

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.
  4. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great for Unit Studies or Standalone
    March 21, 2011
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "The Earth: Its Structure and Its Changes " by Tom DeRosa, is a thin booklet by appearances, but it left me and the kids, really "digging" into learning more about the Earth and how our Father, structure it and the natural changes that occurs.

    Given the age level of 9-12, a lot of the material was still above the kids heads and for younger kids, modifications had to be made, but at the same time, for the homeschooling teacher, the book really provides a wealth of information to incorporate the study of geology/earth science into the curriculum.

    With fun activities, easy to read background material and lots of eye catching illustrations, we enjoy going through the book and the teacher's manual was a big help for me since geology isn't a big interest normally, but at the end it left even me interested in learning about rocks (who knew that could be exciting) and covering topical items such as volcanoes and earthquakes, it helped the kids get enough of a basic idea of what was going on in current news.

    I think this book set works actually better for maybe 4th grade, but at the same time, with a bit of adaption, as shared, this can be modified, with plenty of supervision, for younger children who are interested in learning more about the Earth that our Father has created.

    Not a thick book compared to other curriculum, that makes this book set really more unit study friendly and for interested children who want to learn more than what has been covered, there is still more material that even if used for 3rd grade (or modified for younger) gives the child some fun reading alone or just to go through and look at the many illustrations.

    For us, we just found ourselves spending more time, than expected just really "digging" into the material and the kids kept asking to borrow the book just to go through so really,"The Earth: Its Structure and Its Changes " is a great homeschool addition for the homeschooling home!
  5. Central Minnesota
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Incredible Earth Science Curriculum
    March 15, 2011
    Central Minnesota
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I'm excited to have the opportunity to review The Earth, Its Structure & Its Changes by Tom De Rosa and Carolyn Reeves. This book is part of the Investigate the Possibilities curriculum series, and is targeted towards grades 3-8.

    I'm very excited about this curriculum and how we are going to be able to use it in our home. In the past I have avoided doing most science experiments because the logistics of doing them is too hard for me to juggle. First of all, I have kids in 3 different grades, all doing different science levels and experiments at different times. Also in the past it seems that the "earth science" unit happens to fall during the winter when it is impossible to get outside and explore any rocks whatsoever. This curriculum is about so much more than labeling the layers of the earth and looking at rocks. I can take this one curriculum and use it for all 3 of my oldest children (grades 4, 6, and 7). The books were built on the National Science Education Standards for levels 5-8, but the authors also considered recommendations for grades K-4. You know what that Kindergartner and my 1st grader should also be able to listen in and participate and pick up on these activities! So now I have just tackled earth science for everyone at one time.

    The student book is divided up into 20 "investigations". It is designed to be done over the course of one semester, with labs held once a week. The full-color pages are interesting and the material is well-organized. The book flows well from lesson to lesson and is easy to "get the hang of". Even though we haven't officially started yet, the kids have enjoyed looking through the book on their own time. Each investigation begins with an experiment of some sort. A list of items needed to be gathered is easy to see. In most cases, the items on the list are normal household items (ie: no need to buy expensive parts or kits from somewhere). Each experiment has step by step instructions with questions for the students to answer.

    The next pages include the lesson that applies. Some of it is fairly detailed. It will be perfect for an 8th grader. Your student will absorb what they can. Application sections include "Dig Deeper", "What Did You Learn?", and "Pause and Think." Some of the questions are easier, and some will require more thought. I love how it is easily adjustable to each individual child's level. I don't have to think hard about how I can make this work first for my 4th grader and at the same time for my 7th grader. It is also worth mentioning that this is a Christian curriculum and includes scripture references where applicable.

    This is by far one of the best curricula I have ever seen for doing experiments. It is so thorough and well put-together. The simple act of following directions, recording observations, making hypotheses, and answering questions are so good by themselves that it almost doesn't matter WHAT we are studying. We will be building a solid foundation for successful lab experiments in the future.

    Some of the first lessons in this book explore plate tectonics and earthquakes. How cool is that? It is really good timing for us!

    Oh! This book is not just for homeschoolers. This is a great curriculum that you could pick up to do with your kids over summer break. It really is broken down well and you don't have to be a teacher to teach this!
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