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Traveling Seeds Review by Dawn Peterson

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

The Traveling Seeds Project Pack by In the Hands of a Child is a unit study for the younger set (pre-K to grade 2) that teaches about the wonder of a seed and how it becomes a plant.

The unit study includes a helpful introduction, a Resource Guide that includes all the lessons, vocabulary words with definitions, additional topics for further research, related books and websites, and ideas for adapting the unit study to the needs of your child. Following this is an Activities and Instructions section that contains the information and directions for the Project Pack activities, as well as the reproducible graphics. The supplies required to do the Project Packs are very basic--a manila folder, scissors, colorful paper of variable thicknesses, glue, tape, coloring tools like markers and crayons (no paint necessary!), and a stapler.

A typical lesson would look like the following. Read aloud to your child about photosynthesis on page 11 of the Resource Guide. It's a very short two-paragraph explanation appropriate for a young child. Discuss the meaning of "chlorophyll" (found in the vocabulary section). Turn to the Activities and Instructions section of the book where you'll locate the photosynthesis activity. Ask your child, "What four things do plants use to make their own food?" (which you just read to them). Discuss the answers and then move on to the Project Pack activity (a Four-Door Booklet) and direct them to follow the simple instructions, which include folding, cutting and coloring to create a little flap book that displays those four things plants need to make their own food. This flap book is then attached to the shutter-style folder you made with the child in lesson 2.

There are 14 short lessons and activities in all. You can choose to work at your child's pace or within the time frame you desire. Once the unit study is completed, your child has made a wonderful lapbook that serves as "an instant review book, scrapbook, and a ready-made portfolio" (page 3).

It is really as simple as that. One of the great things about this unit study is that it's so flexible. You can use it as a stand-alone study, or you can incorporate it with another book or curriculum. All the information is right here--the anatomy of a plant, roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, pollination, how plants grow, photosynthesis, and plant uses. And what I like most about it is that it directs the child to create a tangible, unique, and fun record of what they learned.

This unit study is a fun and engaging way to teach a young child about seeds, how they grow, and what they become. I highly recommend it!

Product review by: Dawn Peterson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2008