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Veterinary Science & Animal Care Project Pack Review by Donna Campos

Katie Kubesh, Niki McNeil, and Kimm Bellotto
In the Hands of a Child
3271 Kerlikowske Road
Coloma, MI 49038

The Veterinary Science & Animal Care Project Pack is a lapbook project for children in grades five and above. It is available in printed or e-book format. This review is for the printed copy, which is a 73-page spiral bound book with reproducibles. (An answer key and a daily scheduling guide are available separately, but they are not included in this review.) At the end of the book, you'll find two pages of pictured examples, one page of diagrams, and instructions for creating a lapbook base using file folders. The book begins with a three-page introduction that explains Project Packs in general, a page of options for adapting to the needs of your particular student, and a page for notes. Twenty pages of detailed reading material provide the educational information to be taught to the student, with information divided by section and vocabulary words listed in bold type. Specific notebook pieces include a Divided Card Book, an Envelope, a Diamond Book, a Fold-N-Lock Book, and more. Scissors, glue, tape, pens, colored pencils, and other basic school materials will be needed as your student personalizes the activity and assembles the lapbook. The Veterinary Science & Animal Care Project Pack covers related careers, animal breeds, animal classification, life cycles, body systems, behavior, nutrition, safety, specific veterinary care (including medication and diseases), and more. All the pages in the project pack are printed on one side only and on high quality paper, allowing for quality copies as permitted (see details on the copyright page).

Lapbooks are designed to be a tangible representation of information a student has learned. They are ideal for many styles of learning because of the hands-on quality, personalization, and availability for future review. This particular pack is designed for students fifth grade and above, so students will be able to read the material and work through much of the material independently. The publisher suggests a pace of two to three sections of reading and completion of corresponding activities in one 30- to 45-minute session. Following this pace for three days a week and allowing additional time for actual assembly, you could complete the entire lapbook project in four weeks. If you use it as part of a broader unit study (with extension products, additional reading, perhaps a few studies of specific animals), it could be a more thorough nine-week study. Every completed lapbook will be different and unique, the very nature of the lapbooking educational style!

In the Hands of a Child is known for high-quality materials, and this project pack lives up to that standard. The reading material includes interesting pieces of information that will heighten interest and discussion in children. My son was fascinated at the idea of pigs being used by police officers in Germany. The authors were thorough enough to point out that animals are put in protective gear when working in police situations. This entire lapbook is very adaptable; bits of information may be expanded as desired. Be sure to take the time to investigate the included website links, as your student will enjoy information about presidential pets, various vocations involving the care of animals, and much more. At the time of this review, all included links were working and accurate. You may want to make note of the 4-H link for many future projects, and the "talktothevet" site will be very helpful to budding veterinarians.

A fairly decent book list is included, and we enjoyed the website links. But unfortunately, the book list and bibliography do not specify whether books are evolution or creation based. Bible references are sometimes included as supplementary information, but we found no overt reference to God, His creation, or His creatures. Neither is there any reference to man having dominion over the animals. Although there was no specific emphasis on creation or Christianity, I stress that I found no evolutionary content either. Another negative point is that the sections of reading in the Research Guide are not numbered to coincide with activities, and there is no uniformity of length. Some sections include a lot of additional information; others end quickly with very basic information.

The Veterinary Science & Animal Care Project Pack is a very enjoyable lapbook. We found it easy to assemble with the included instructions, even though we do not put lapbooks together on a day-to-day basis. This product offers the opportunity for the entire family to learn together and build a keepsake in the process.

Product review by: Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2008