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Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Ecology Book {Wonders of Creation}

There is so much to like about The Ecology Book from Master Books, part of the Wonders of Creation series of science books for children. The Ecology Book is versatile and can be used with students from fifth through eleventh grades. The unique coding system of the book tells you exactly what sections are appropriate for which grades. The sections are divided into levels and the text boxes are color coded for ease of use.

This book is perfect for my family because I have children of elementary, middle, and high school ages. I am able to adapt it for use by all three of my kids, and it is particularly nice to be able to teach them all from the same book. The Level 1 (5th-6th grades) sections cover the basics of the topic, the who, what, where, why, and how. Level 2 (7th-8th grades) delves deeper into ecological issues, plus includes vocabulary words. The Level 3 (9th-11th grades) sections also incorporate concepts and theories. Level 3 students read all three sections. The book is divided into ten chapters and includes scientific concepts, practical hands-on activities, short biographies of ecologists (both Christian and non-Christian), and a complete glossary, all taught from a creationist, Christian perspective.

The photographs in the book are really beautiful, making The Ecology Book even more enticing, and the detailed drawings help clarify concepts like lichen reproduction, the phosphorus cycle, and the nitrogen cycle. Some of the concepts in this book seem simple, like conservation, but there are many complex topics in the book as well, and they are explained clearly and sequentially. We found this book to be a great accompaniment for a field trip to a power plant where we saw ow the water cycle related to the generation of power. We also learned a great deal from the chapters on lichens and fungi. We have lots of mushrooms and different lichens on and around our property, so it was interesting to learn more about these oddities. The Ecology Book is a great idea starter for nature journaling, and the kids are able to add detailed labels to their drawings from information in the book.

Once students read the material, there are many opportunities to conduct experiments, and the last chapter of the book teaches methods for studying plants, animal, and insects, as well as tips for conducting good science experiments. Good ecological stewardship is stressed, and I especially appreciate the tips for putting what was learned into action. The Ecology Book is available from New Leaf Publishing.
{The publisher provided me with a manuscript copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.}