Amazing Arctic & Antarctic Projects You Can Build Yourself is a 122-page soft-cover book with a black and white interior. Designed for ages 9 years old and up, it includes an Introduction and 12 chapters: "Where Are the Arctic and Antarctic?" "Light at the Poles," "Ice, Glaciers, and Icebergs," "The Tundra," "Tundra Animals," "Polar Bears," "Penguins," "Ocean Animals: Seals, Walruses, and Whales," "Exploring the Polar Region," "Living in the Arctic," "People Who Work in Antarctica," and "Taking Care of the Poles." The book concludes with a glossary, a page of resources, and an index. Additional household supplies are needed for some of the activities, as are other items easily found at a craft or hardware store. The book is more than a simple activity book; it includes educational reading in every chapter, interspersing activities with shaded boxes providing interesting facts, words to know, and "Fun Things to Try."
The book is printed with a larger font than standard readers, making it ideal for older elementary students. Old earth ideas are included in references, but you could easily mark them out. There are references to global warming, but without any elaboration or opinion until the last chapter, which has several pages of explanation about global warming and how children can help by recycling and caring for our earth. The vocabulary words are excellent, and they provide opportunity for parents to assign the writing of sentences, further research, or spelling practice. Each vocabulary box includes the words with their definitions and is located in the section where the words are used, with the words usually in bold print for ease of identification. This provided great opportunity for reading in context and greater understanding of the definition. The "Fun Things to Try" boxes include activities for calculating distance, surveys, research, simple experiments, the study of root words, recycling, and even a creative chore chart.
The projects themselves include making an electromagnet, a volcano model, a polar bear bank, a scarf, soapstone carvings, or a jar terrarium. Some of the projects will need more supervision than others, and you will want to be extremely careful when making the toboggan on wheels. There is a game included called "Thong Pull," which is an Inuit game involving pulling a yard stick. Children may need a little more explanation about using the word "thong" in this context. We were starved for pictured diagrams of the majority of projects and experiments, as they are sorely lacking. Those that are included are rarely very helpful for the actual completion of a project.
The activities are incredibly flexible across many age ranges, making them ideal for large families or home school groups. The hands-on factor is excellent for more sensory children, and we loved reading about a subject and instantly having access to creative ideas to expand on the learning. Amazing
Arctic & Antarctic Projects You Can Build Yourself is excellent for unit studies, note booking, science courses blended with social studies, and students curious about this subject area.
Our family has enjoyed using Amazing Arctic & Antarctic Projects You Can
Build Yourself and will continue to do so for years to come. I easily blacked out unnecessary old earth comments and have found this to be a great resource book for our homeschool. The chapters cover a particular subject area with enough information to encourage further learning. The inclusion of activities, models, vocabulary, and possible projects for extension is an excellent way to build interest while learning. As mentioned before, we did miss helpful diagrams, but the projects can still be done with general household supplies as instructed. Internet resources are included and those we checked were valid at the time of this review, but parents are urged to use caution with any Internet resource as content and accuracy are apt to change.
Amazing Arctic & Antarctic Projects You Can Build Yourself should not be considered merely a book of projects; much more is included in its pages. This book will offer education and enjoyment while building an understanding of that incredibly interesting part of our world.