A Peek Inside: Concepts and Challenges Earth Science

in 5GRD, Peek Inside, Science

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This is one of the more controversial text choices. People expect science books to be really recently printed, but it unless your fourth grader is learning cutting age genetics, not much has changed in the last 20 years on the 5th grade level. The glory of this series of books is that they are so age-appropriate. Not just in content, but in presentation.  They are unique in that way.  Any book will tell you about metamorphic rocks, but children of this age are just starting to be able to “pull the main idea” from a paragraph. This text works that skill every day while giving them a thorough scientific vocabulary.  Every lesson is a two page spread ONLY.  This is important!  It’s brief enough to hold the child’s attention, and if he doesn’t remember the answers, he can check the text without any page flipping!  (Every day, the child answers the blue questions in complete sentences and completes one or two other sections on the page. I went through and highlighted my book so that I didn’t have to write anything more than the lesson number on his assignment page. )

The first week, this was a hated subject, but I heard that it quickly becomes a favorite.  And it did.  Favorite subject!



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer Sheppard March 20, 2015

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been contemplating whether or not to use this book for 5th grade. I have been steered away from this book by almost everyone I have spoke to. When I was told that it is really more for Language Arts and pulling out the main idea of a paragraph, I really wanted to use it. Now I just need to find a copy. It’s amazing when you FINALLY learn how MODG works and that Laura knows what she is doing. I am so worn out from trying to reinvent the wheel with new curriculum. New doesn’t necessarily mean better!

Also, I have a 10th grader who is working his way through 9th grade Earth Science and also the World Geography Syllabus, they work wonderfully together. I am hoping since 5th grade calls for using the same book as World Geography, that these, too, will compliment each other.


2 admin May 9, 2015

Hi! I can’t believe I didn’t reply to these. Anyway, I am really glad it helped. My undergrad was Chemistry and I love the Concepts and Challenges books. So many science folks can’t write to save their lives! Science and history really should be sub-departments of math and language arts, in my opinion. They’re CONTENT subjects, not skills.

And I agree with you on the FINALLY learning how it’s supposed to work. Where is THAT class? I can’t imagine we’re effective teachers operating blindly until so late in the game!


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