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Under the Hood: A Look at Automobiles and Their Inner Workings Project Pack Review by Christine Field

(Grades 7 and up)
In the Hands of a Child
3271 Kerlikowske Road
Coloma, MI 49038

My 12-year-old son is smitten by cars. He reads about them, draws them, points them out, and can't wait to drive them. Until then, he'll have to settle for learning about them, but it will be rewarding and great fun with this Project Pack

Project Packs are a great way to learn. They incorporate hands-on projects, writing, research, and review. Complete instructions are provided to assemble the project, resulting in something than can be a portfolio of the child's work, a review tool, or a scrapbook. We have used several of these in our home and have always been delighted!

This Project Pack contains 25 activities. They cover the history of the automobile, their six main systems, motor oils, transmissions, steering, electrical and safety systems, and much more. There is a section on performance cars where the student can choose the car of their choice to research and write a report. (I already know which one my son will choose!) Interspersed with the Project Pact activities are suggested extension activities, such as visiting a car dealership and an oil change shop.

This material can be totally adapted to your needs. Because this particular pack is recommended for grade 7 and up, younger children will need more guidance, and you may utilize more copy work and picture drawing for them to show what they are learning. Older students can be challenged by using any of the activity topics as a research unit to be done independently. They can expand on the given materials as much as they like in order to customize their learning. If your child is interested in cars, this could be the springboard to a lifelong work!

Doing a Project Pack is a great way to learn. You decide how you want to do it. Some students glue or paste all their special folds and flip books as they go through the study. Others do the work, store it in a plastic baggie, and then assemble the actual pack when all the projects are completed. It's up to you.

I love these materials! Try a Project Pack today with your students. I'm sure you will be impressed and inspired to look at learning in a new light.

Product review by Christine Field, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2009