Recently, we were offered the opportunity to review a Project Pack from In the Hands of a Child. Having used their materials before, I knew that we'd be in for a treat. We had a number of titles to choose from, so I deferred to the little ones. Since they had just completed a science class in co-op that had touched a bit on space, their interest was piqued. Therefore, Exploring Nearby Space was their final choice.
I'm excited that my kids wanted to dig a little deeper concerning a subject that they already had some prior knowledge. I was even more thrilled to have an HOAC Project Pack available on the topic because it eliminated all prep-work on my part. The teacher's part is complete, and the work is ready for the students' hands.
Now, you may be asking, "What exactly is a Project Pack?" Simply, it is a download of a ready-to-assemble, hands-on unit. It includes both the activities and the lesson plans/research guide needed to complete the activities. A Project Pack is made from a file folder that is refolded into a shutter-style lapbook. Supplies needed are minimal: file folders, colored paper, crayons, pencils, glue, scissors, and tape.
The Exploring Nearby Space Project Pack included: an overview of a Project Pack, a note regarding adaptations, a table of contents, a 7-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 10 Hands-On Activities and Instructions, 3 Fun Bonus and 3 Extension Activities, directions for lapbook construction, sample pictures, and a 7-page Research Guide.
I chose to follow the 7-day guide with the kids. For each of the core concepts listed, the kids completed a graphic organizer or mini-book. At the end of our study, we affixed these to the file folders to complete our lapbooks. This study was designed for students in K-3rd grade, so we definitely utilized some of the adaptations provided to keep writing to a minimum. For example, Rachel colored many of the graphics included in the project pack. Jeremiah traced some of the copywork opposed to writing it freehand. Finally, for the vocabulary words, the kids took turns drawing a pictorial representation of the word on the front of the card. On the back, we glued the pre-typed definition. These little helps kept the work manageable and fun for the kids, and there were no complaints.
In Exploring Nearby Space, the kids were able to explore the sun, moon, stars, and planets. While these were somewhat familiar topics, it was the information on space exploration tools, satellites, and space transportation that ignited the most interest. No shocker, but my Star Wars lovin' boys really enjoyed these "new-to-them" topics. So much so, in fact, they checked out some library books on space vehicles.
As you can see from the completed lapbook below, the kids learned a lot about space and have a beautiful hand-made keepsake of their space adventure. They can pull this lapbook out in the future to review what they learned and remember the great time they had in the process. The learning can continue past the week long study.
Exploring Nearby Space is regularly priced at $10.00. However, it is currently on sale for only $7.00. Prior to purchase, you may wish to peruse the free sample that is available to download. In the Hands of a Child is also offering an Exploring Nearby Space Project Pack to one of my readers. Be sure to enter to win below!!!
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