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, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes is a study of the fascinating world of geology. With explanations of how our Earth was shaped, this elementary science curriculum gives evidence to the Genesis Flood, accompanying earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other powerful processes. Students will explore 20 "investigations" through experiments and a very specific learning progression.