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Grains: A Unit Study for Ages 11-14 Review by Jacque Dixon

Gail Kappenman
Kap & Pen Publications
4100 Fork Shoals Road
Simpsonville, SC 29680

Grains: A Unit Study for Ages 11-14 is a five-part unit study that covers just about any type of grain you can think of. It is paperback and ring-bound for ease of use.

Planting and harvesting, milling the grains and the parts of the grain, the history, and uses and types of rice are some of the topics covered. A diagram of the new food pyramid and a brief discussion on the importance of grains in our diets is included. Through this study, your child will engage in research, writing, and analysis. Spelling and vocabulary lists coincide with each chapter, and there are additional learning opportunities for reading, writing, geography, cooking, art, and poetry. Math projects and science experiments are included, as well as other hands-on activities. The suggested recipes are simple and fun. They include Easy Beef Barley Soup, Fast and Simple Breakfast Granola, Speltines, and Kamut Pizza.

This is a good introduction to grains and what they mean to different cultures across the globe. The unit study is easy to read, and I like the fact that children of reading age can read it on their own. The vocabulary words are average to long words that any child could learn to spell and define, although they are probably most suited to ages 10-15. This study can be used alone or incorporated into a particular subject. Whether you use it as a part of your curriculum or as a supplement to add fun cooking projects into your homeschool, it is a study that will keep your child's attention.

We really liked this unit study, especially because we are very interested in whole grains and eating nutritionally. It has a good balance of educational subjects and is very thorough in its information about grains. I loved the many different areas of learning that it covered, particularly the home skills that implement the basic subjects of math and science.

Product review by Jacque Dixon, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2009