Incredible Creeks is a 63-page unit study e-book for
elementary-age children from Shining Dawn Books. Shining Dawn Books
is well known for its repertoire of high-quality nature study units. Incredible
Creeks deals with not only creeks but also small streams,
brooks, or possibly a small river and the environment in and around
Like other books written by these two authors, this e-book includes
a "Literature Launch," which is a listing of appropriate children's
literature works to use as a springboard for your unit study. There
is also a section titled "A Bit of Background" for the parent.
This is not an exhaustive resource of information about the topic,
but it does give you some background to be able to get out and
start exploring with your children. The next section is "Getting
Outside with Incredible Creeks," which is a list of suggestions
on how to use the activities in the book as well as safety precautions
and a bit more information about creeks. Following these sections
is a list of resources and notes to incorporate other topics, including
Bible, poetry, artist and picture studies, composers, and literature.
Suggestions are also given for including younger or older children
or working with a group in a co-op setting. The appendix includes
information on nature notebook pages, reasons to study nature,
safety, and unit notebook preparation. There are beautiful photographs
of nature throughout the e-book.
Some unit studies give you step-by-step directions for how to
teach each day and what activities to do. Incredible Creeks does
not do this; instead it lists many suggestions to spur you on to
create your own unit. The activities suggested are varied and will
appeal to many. These include using a compass to determine the
direction of flowing water, making and using an underwater viewfinder,
studying the various animal kingdoms, identifying and studying
the rocks and erosion in the stream, and more.
One weakness of this e-book is the lack of structure, which can
be intimidating to some who are new to unit studies. How do you
choose from all the great activities? However, this flexibility
is also a strength. Because of the wide variety of activities presented,
parents can easily choose one or two or more that will interest
their children. And it is very easy to slip one or two activities
into the routine of any homeschooling style to increase the nature
experiences of the children. It is the opinion of the authors that "any
homeschooler using any homeschooling style will find this resource
useful." I would have to agree.
Incredible Creeks is a resource full of suggestions
to get children out in nature and exploring. It will be a great
resource for any family that has access to some water in the form
of a creek, stream, brook, or small river.