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What Is Heat? What Is Temperature? Review by Amy M. O’Quinn

In the Hands of a Child Project Pack
3271 Kerlikowske Road
Coloma, MI 49038

All homeschool moms have a definite educational "style." Some lean toward the classical method, and some love Charlotte Mason. Some strictly use textbooks, and some are eclectic. I consider myself a Classical-Charlotte Mason mom, and a great percentage of our studies are literature/discussion-based. However, since my children enjoy a change of pace sometimes, I have discovered that the project packs created by the ladies at In the Hands of A Child (HOAC) provide a perfect theme/activity-based option for us now and then.

This review is specifically for What Is Heat? What Is Temperature? for Grades PreK-2. But all the project packs at HOAC are designed in a similar manner. In a nutshell, project packs are simply ready-to-assemble, hands-on units that include activities, lesson plans, and reproducibles--all used to create learning masterpieces (lapbooks) utilizing file folder bases that are refolded into shutter-style books.

As the HOAC writers (Katie Kubesh, Niki McNeil, and Kimm Bellotto) put it: "Student learning improves when lessons incorporate hands-on projects or crafts. Children learn by doing. Project Packs put learning into their hands!" They also say of the project packs, "The work is done for you--the parent/teacher, but not for the student."

Each guide has a Table of Contents that includes the concepts covered and the order of the activities, which are also easily identified and numbered on the resource pages. There are detailed instructions that tell exactly how to fold, organize, and use the graphics and templates. I especially appreciated the photos that are included at the end of the book to show the possibilities for the finished lapbooks. I am such a visual person, and the photos helped me get a grasp on the overall project. Another page includes a helpful "related reading" book list and a bibliography, and there are Internet links throughout the guide to reference relevant information.

This project pack about heat and temperature is excellent! Concepts, experiments, and vocabulary covered include uses of heat, types of heat, how heat travels, types of thermometers, tracking temperatures, boiling and freezing points of water, Celsius, Fahrenheit, conduction, convection, and radiation.

The ladies at HOAC also give many practical ideas about how to use the project pack and how to adapt and use the material with students who are either younger or older than the suggested age. This is certainly good for our family as we have students spread out from PreK to seventh grade, all of whom would benefit from this unit on heat and temperature. Moreover, this project pack could be used as a stand-alone study or as a supplement to an existing unit. The possibilities are endless.

You can visit the In The Hands of a Child website for more information and to download a thirteen-page PDF sample of this project pack. The cost for the E-Book is $12, and there are other options available as well, including a book with a "type it in" option, CD, printed copy, print/CD combo, project kit, etc. While you're there, check out all their other project pack selections. A lapbook/hands-on unit study might be just what you're looking for to provide a nice change of pace--no matter what your educational "style" may be!

Product Review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010