“I wish we could have science every day,” my ten-year-old daughter gushed.
“Science is my favorite subject,” my six-year-old granddaughter said, then amended, “at least with this book.”
“Me too,” my seven-year-old grandson said.
This was a new response to science! And the curriculum that garnered the excitement was The Complete Zoo Adventure by Mary and Gary Parker. Half book, half kit, The Complete Zoo Adventure takes the student through the study of twenty-seven creatures as the authors explain why these creatures create problems for the evolutionist and describe features that demonstrate each one’s unique design by God. The program comes in a spiral-bound notebook with the kit occupying a cardboard envelope on the back cover.
The authors break the full-color, 160-pages into four sections. The first section tells you how to use the kit. The second section contains the heart of the book, two- or three-page spreads about each of the 27 animals covered. Each includes beautiful full-color photographs and a world map locating the animal. “After the Zoo” provides multiple pages of worksheets for parents to copy for younger, middle, and advanced students. The last section is the appendix with teaching aids, a glossary, and an index. Hooty the Owl shows up in most chapters with tips on safety or special information about the animal being studied.
The kit contains 27 field fact cards, 7 biome cards, 3 field journals, and 12 name badges. Each field fact card summarizes facts about one of the animals. The biome cards describe seven different habitats: evergreen forests, deciduous forests, tundra, rainforests, grasslands, deserts, and chaparral. Name badges allow you to assign responsibilities at the zoo, and the field journals provide places to name the animals seen, draw them, and tell whether each is a bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian.
The Parkers provide seven devotionals and a complementary section to each devotional describing some element of the creation/evolution controversy. They explain and apply passages from Genesis 1-9; John 1:1-14; Exodus 20:11; Romans 8: 18-23; and John 3:16. Depending on how many animals you wish to study at a time, this unit study would serve for a good quarter of science study or could be done in less.
Husband and wife team, Gary and Mary Parker, have worked together on several creationist books. Gary is a prolific writer and has lectured for both the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis. They seem to be devoting a lot of time and energy now to providing creationist materials for elementary through high school students.
Unfortunately the book is not very durable. We already need to duct tape it together. It would also be more helpful if parents had the option of downloading the various teacher aids rather than copying them.
Still, these are minor considerations when the children are learning and enjoying science with a strong creationist thrust in a program that can be used with various ages. The materials are colorful, attractive, and well-organized. The Complete Zoo Adventure is fun, educational, and promises to make our next trip to the zoo something to remember! – Debbie W. Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
With sections focused on preparing for the trip, learning while at the zoo, and activities to reinforce what you learn, The Complete Zoo Adventure is a great way for homeschoolers or any family to direct a field trip or to just learn about God's creation in the classroom. Perfect for all ages, this guide has checklists, connect-the-dot pictures, word finds, fact cards, a field journal, and more in the activity section. A great way to make learning fun, the guide also includes Scripture memory text listings to show kids that God's creation is found throughout the Bible.