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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Project Pack Review by Heather Randall

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

In the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Project Pack, children will learn about the three "R"s along with the dangers and risks of landfills and hazardous waste. They'll learn to be conscientious of their environment and participate in the cleanliness of our earth through recycling and composting.

This project pack is designed for grades 2-5. It includes 15 activities and three Bible activities that combine to create a very impressive lapbook. The spiral-bound guide includes six pages of educational instruction, beginning with Scripture and ending with vocabulary and related materials. Related materials include books and websites for further study. The next section contains brief instructions for completing each activity. The remaining pages are reproducible mini-book activities that can be printed on color paper and combined to create a full lapbook. You will need additional materials like file folders, glue or a glue stick, cardstock, crayons, ink, and a printer.

Many of the activities in this project pack include answers that can be cut out and applied to the blank spots. This is good for younger children who are just developing their writing skills so that they don't get overwhelmed by writing all of the material out themselves. I preferred to use this option sporadically and required my daughter to do at least half of the overall writing for the lapbook. It's suggested that you print out all of the reproducible materials prior to study and place them in a zip-top bag. This is good advice that will save you loads of time. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle can be used independently or to supplement a larger curriculum. It is adaptable to younger children and can be done at a slow pace (one activity per lesson) or sped up, with segments of three activities in a session. You control when and how it's used.

I enjoy the tangible, creative, learning opportunities that lapbooks provide. My kids do too. I like that all the materials are spiral bound and easily printed. The educational value is perfect for the targeted audience of kids in grades 2-5. This project pack sells for $24.

The only disadvantage I found was that all of the reproducibles are in black and white. It's obviously more cost effective that way, but sometimes I like the option of a little color in the graphics. It's really not that big of a deal to me, and I was still very pleased with the outcome of our lapbook.

If you are looking for a hands-on environmental lesson, the Reduce, Reuse Recycle! Project Pack is a fun option at a good price.

Product review by Heather Randall, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010