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6th Grade Earth Science/Astronomy Books


PachiSusan
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I am not opposed to lap books, unit studies, or text books. I'm easy.

I have a daughter who wants to learn about the earth and it's processes. She loves Astronomy and wants to learn about the planets. She has had just very basic introduction to Earth Science - the layers of the earth, erosion, rocks, that sort of stuff.

Our Science book through Seton this year is Life Sciences, yet again, and she doesn't want to keep doing biology and living things - she wants to dig in and learn about our world.

Typical disclaimer:

We are Catholic Christian, and believe that God created the heavens and the earth and everything within it but do not subscribe to (or have any opposition to) the young earth perspective. As the Catholic church professes, we believe that it is not a matter of salvation HOW and how long it took God to do it, only that he did. I do not want a debate about Religion versus Science. I am open to all sources - secular OR religious.

Oh, and we have already done Apologia Astronomy and she wants deeper information than it had. She felt it was too young for her.

Ready, set, GO!!!!!

 

UPDATE:



UPDATE:

 

We have made a decision and I'm purchasing today! 

 

 

This is the 2001 edition, and I will be buying it used because I don't want to support Pearson, who now owns Prentice Hall.. I found it for a very reasonable price. We've been using it from the library, but I can guarantee at SOME time I will have to return it. LOL

0130506222.jpg

Science Explorer: Earth Science (Grades 6-9)
Prentice Hall
Published by Pearson Prentice Hall (2001)

It contains: 
1. Introduction to Earth Science
2. Mapping Earth's Surface
3. Minerals
4. Rocks
5. Plate Tectonics
6. Earthquakes
7. Volcanoes
8. Weathering and Soil Formation
9. Erosion and Deposition
10. A Trip Through Geologic Time
11. Energy Resources
12. Fresh Water
13. Ocean Motions
14. Ocean Zones
15. The Atmosphere
16. Weather Factors
17. Weather Patterns
18. Climate and Climate Change
19. The Solar System
20. Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

These are all the topics she told me she wanted to work on next year (except for climate change and the ocean, but it excited her to see it).

Now to write the lesson plans and figure out how to deal with tests. I've never done that before. The book is 800 pages long. Obviously, we won't be doing it all!

 

 

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I'm not sure if you are asking for an entire curriculum or more informal blocks of information, but check these astronomy resources:

 

http://www.intellegounitstudies.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_34_36&products_id=59

 

http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/navigation/home.cfm

 

http://www.stellarium.org/

 

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/educ/lessons.cfm

 

http://www.homeschoolastronomy.com/ (I like this one and plan to use it as a supplement for my daughter next year)

 

More formal, book-based curriculum that covers both Earth Science and Astronomy in one year:

 

http://www.classicaleducationresources.com/CQSL2-ClassiQuest-Science-Logic-Stage-Astronomy-Geoscience-CER-CQSL2.htm (We have this and are using it with the above link next year. It's very dry - which is why we are supplementing with the colorful link above, but it gets a thorough job done in a complete way).

 

http://www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/science/book-astronomy (Looks kind of dry and we've never used it, but it seems to be a complete astronomy curriculum).

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I have that first one on my list so far. I was able to download a sample and we are going to go through it. We did Apologias Astronomy and felt it wasn't in depth enough, but I don't know if we are looking for dry and boring either. LOL

 

I Will check all of those out, thank you!

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Earth Science:

Shaping the Earth by Dorothy Henshaw Patent

Plate Tectonics by Alvin Silverstein

Tarbuck's Earth Science (more in depth)

 

Astronomy:

The Stars by HA Rey

New Cosmos TV series

Usborne Astronomy book

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My dd worked through Intelligo's Astronomy unit study on her own in 6th grade, and really loved that.

 

There are a bunch of great Coursera courses on astronomy and earth science topics, several of which are accessible for an interested younger student - currently there is an AstroTech course, and there was a great Astrobiology course earlier this year.  You can sign up to get an email when particular courses re-play.  If you are interested in this route let me know and I can post links to the specific courses that I thought would be interesting for a middle schooler (not too math and physics-heavy).

 

Two books that are perfect for this age group:

 

Dr. Art's Guide to Planet Earth:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Arts-Guide-Planet-Earth/dp/189013273X/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1400341829&sr=8-11&keywords=dr+art%27s+guide+to+science

 

Bill Bryson's A Really Short History of Nearly Everything: (eta the for kids version linked here, not the adult version)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Really-Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/0385738102/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400341890&sr=1-1&keywords=a+really+short+history+of+nearly+everything

 

 

Oh yeah, and for fun and educational reads, Lucy Hawking's series, George's Secret Key to the Universe and its two sequels:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Georges-Secret-Universe-Stephen-Hawking/dp/1416985840/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400341967&sr=1-1&keywords=george%27s+secret+key+to+the+universe

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I'm currently reading this. It's a fabulous book.

 

But....you read it in 6th grade?

 

I would think that a student that young would had to have a bit of background knowledge. I know he markets this book for the laymen but I've found reading it that I would have been a bit lost at times if I hadn't already had some college level science classes---just in vocabulary alone.

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Susan, have you seen John Tiners books? Here's a link to a list, there is an astronomy title as well as "Exploring Planrt Earth." I'm not overly familiar of these but have flipped through a couple and I own a PDF or two. :)

 

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=John+toner+exploring&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

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The one I linked is a "for kids" version.  I agree, the grown-up version is too much for most 6th graders.  This one is marketed for age 8-12, grades 3-7.

 

Gotcha! Didn't know there was one. I spoke/posted without clicking on your link since I assumed it would lead me to the book I'm currently reading.

 

Which is fantastic.

 

So now I will click on your link! ;)

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Oh, I hadn't seen this; it looks great!  We have the Tiner chemistry book and love it!

Susan, have you seen John Tiners books? Here's a link to a list, there is an astronomy title as well as "Exploring Planrt Earth." I'm not overly familiar of these but have flipped through a couple and I own a PDF or two. :)

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=John+toner+exploring&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

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I am using Holt Science and Technology Earth Science with my almost-fifth grader.  He is finishing fourth grade right now, and we have been using it for two or three weeks.  It is my favorite science program so far, and he would probably agree.  We have used most of the Apologia programs, and we did not love them, but everything else we have tried has been too shallow and too short.  This kid loves science, I kept ordering these programs that were intended to cover a semester and there would be about 12 minutes' worth of text for him.  I really need a science that takes longer than 12 minutes a day.  Holt takes longer because it is a Big Bad Textbook, but it is broken down into short, manageable sections.  My beefs with this program are (1) it is expensive (though not as expensive as ordering the Science Program of the Day and watching it collect dust or finishing it in three weeks) and (2) I despise having to print items off of the CD.  The CD does, however, have oodles of good stuff on it.  Not just your standard worksheets, it also includes critical thinking exercises, lab pages for experiments, tests (I love tests), vocabulary, etc.  And the TM is very good--again, I love having a TM with the student text on the page.

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I'm following, but not adding anything, because I also wanted to get into Earth science next year for 6th and 2nd. Amazingly we haven't covered it in any depth before. My oldest has picked up what he knows incidentally or through our studies in geography. So he understands about the rotation of the earth because he has read a bit on time zones and climate and he loves cartography and anything to do with maps and latitude/longitude lines etc.

 

He knows the planets, although I don't think we've talked about them in any detail. Stars systems and so on we've never really touched on. He has read a little about rocks. He knows sedimentary, metaphoric, igneous, but we haven't really looked at rocks in any detail. He understands about the water cycle and basic weather topics.

 

But again we never really made a focused study on this, because like you Susan, we've focused on Life science or ecology quite heavily.

 

I do know I'm going to use RSO Earth with my 2nd year old. I've actually considered the Holt textbook as well. I just want to fill in any gaps.

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I'm following, but not adding anything, because I also wanted to get into Earth science next year for 6th and 2nd. Amazingly we haven't covered it in any depth before. My oldest has picked up what he knows incidentally or through our studies in geography. So he understands about the rotation of the earth because he has read a bit on time zones and climate and he loves cartography and anything to do with maps and latitude/longitude lines etc.

 

He knows the planets, although I don't think we've talked about them in any detail. Stars systems and so on we've never really touched on. He has read a little about rocks. He knows sedimentary, metaphoric, igneous, but we haven't really looked at rocks in any detail. He understands about the water cycle and basic weather topics.

 

But again we never really made a focused study on this, because like you Susan, we've focused on Life science or ecology quite heavily.

 

I do know I'm going to use RSO Earth with my 2nd year old. I've actually considered the Holt textbook as well. I just want to fill in any gaps.

 

What is RSO Earth? 

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A  curriculum or just the books?  We used and were extremely happy with Elemental Science's Earth Science and Astronomy for the Logic Stage this year.  My oldest used it this year for his 6th grade year.   It uses several Kingfisher and DK titles as well as Exploring the Night Sky, which my son particularly enjoyed as a guide for viewing.

 

I will check this out, thank you! 

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I am using Holt Science and Technology Earth Science with my almost-fifth grader.  He is finishing fourth grade right now, and we have been using it for two or three weeks.  It is my favorite science program so far, and he would probably agree.  We have used most of the Apologia programs, and we did not love them, but everything else we have tried has been too shallow and too short.  This kid loves science, I kept ordering these programs that were intended to cover a semester and there would be about 12 minutes' worth of text for him.  I really need a science that takes longer than 12 minutes a day.  Holt takes longer because it is a Big Bad Textbook, but it is broken down into short, manageable sections.  My beefs with this program are (1) it is expensive (though not as expensive as ordering the Science Program of the Day and watching it collect dust or finishing it in three weeks) and (2) I despise having to print items off of the CD.  The CD does, however, have oodles of good stuff on it.  Not just your standard worksheets, it also includes critical thinking exercises, lab pages for experiments, tests (I love tests), vocabulary, etc.  And the TM is very good--again, I love having a TM with the student text on the page.

 

I have looked at this one before - I also found Prentiss Hall's Earth Science book as well. SO much information in both! 

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OO, I like the Science Explorer series - I've seen those before. Thank you! 

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Susan, have you seen John Tiners books? Here's a link to a list, there is an astronomy title as well as "Exploring Planrt Earth." I'm not overly familiar of these but have flipped through a couple and I own a PDF or two. :)

 

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=John+toner+exploring&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

A friend of mine JUST told me about his books!!! 

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but CPO earth and space is great. We had a very good 6th grade year with that book.

 

There are lots of threads on CPO science in the logic stage forum.

 

It is generally not to difficult to find CPO text online and then you just need to purchase the teacher's book (used on Amazon) and then download the explorations:

http://www.cposcience.com/home/ForEducators/MiddleSchoolEarthScience/tabid/261/Default.aspx

 

CPO is made to be a hands on program. If you aren't into making stuff or figuring out how to do experiments at home then, IMO, it is still a good text, but there are plenty of good text books out there, kiwm? That said, there are people who only use the text and don't do the 'extras'.

 

Here is a hive member's blog about using CPO. Poke around and see if it looks like something you might like

 

http://nowisthebesttimeofourlives.blogspot.com/2010/09/adapting-stream-table-lab-investigation.html

 

 

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My kids have really liked the Holt Science and Technology Short Course books. We tried a bunch of science programs created for homeschoolers, and we found them all quite lacking. Holt has been informational, not dry, and has had fun labs.

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Real Science Odyssey by Pandia Press 

 

http://www.pandiapress.com/earth_space_level1.htm

 

I've used the Life and Biology this year with my kiddos. But I think their level 1 science will be too light for a 6th grader. They don't have the level 2 science materials out yet, just the Biology.

 

So I was going to have my oldest follow along in any labs or extra reading recommendations in the level 1, since I plan on using it with my 2nd grader. But I don't think it is enough for him. 

 

Maybe if I add one of these textbook options?

 

haven't really finalized my science yet for next year. 

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My eldest used this text for her Earth Science/Astronomy course this year. It is meaty. Kolbe has plans (and an answer key for only the problems the syllabus assigns) and tests (HARD tests!) scheduling it for a 36 week year. It was "just right" for her, but it can be rather dense for a non-sciency kid. I don't think either of us would say it was "fun," but she didn't hate it.  :coolgleamA:

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We are using Great Courses next year for Earth Science.  I do not expect my son to gather every bit of knowledge, but they are quite wonderful on showing him quite the extent of how wonderful a truly great lecturer can be.  They also lead to really great discussions.  I am often quite amazed at what he has gathered from them.  Our library allows for the discs to be copied onto a home computer or Ipod for personal use only because they purchase the educational license.  It means I can check them out, and then even if we have to return them, I can use them all year long.  Makes for free science.  Many of these are also on sale right now if you wanted to purchase them yourself.

 

How the Earth Works

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1750

 

Understanding the Universe: Astronomy

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1810

 

Origin and Evolution of the Earth (might not work with your belief system)

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1740

 

World's Greatest Geological Wonders: 36 Spectacular Sites

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1712

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Oh, those TC look cool!  When you watch them do you *do* anything with it?  Have dc write or anything?

 

We watched one on greek myths and ds2 hated it so much he asked for earmuffs for Christmas so he did not have to hear that woman anymore  :lol:   

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I'm still searching for a really great program, too, but in the meantime here are a few resources we have used:

 

Coursera classes, ESP. astroTech that a pp mentioned

Into the Universe series with Stephen Hawking (Netflix)

Great Course lecture series: inexplicable Universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Nova: Fabric of the Cosmos series

World Science U: Space, Time, and Einstein course with Brian Greene (hoping to save this for next year so can't comment on it yet)

World Science U: Science Unplugged (tidbits of info)

Cosmos (of course!)

 

Books:

A Black Hole is Not a Hole

The Mysterious Universe

 

All resources are 100% secular.

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I'm going to begin using Signs and Seasons this summer. It is a historical approach to navigation, the sky, and includes a lot of "in the field" activities. I'm going to be using it with MP's Astronomy books to help learn the constellations. Ds will be studying ancient history next year, and dd really enjoys the historical aspect of any subject, so it seems like a good approach for us. 

 

I'm also going to be using these resources. I will be working in the early summer on a plan to bring it all together. I'll be looking for Nova videos and others to watch as well. 

 

The Astronomy Book

Parent Planner

DK Space A Visual Encylopedia

 

 

 

 

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I'm doing both next year with ds (upcoming 5th grader) and looked at several of the books listed and will be using. 

 

Earth Science: Geology

Books- Roadside Geology of MO, Shaping the Earth-Patent (RA), Geology of the Great Plains- overview ds reads- do selected activities together, The Encylopedia of Earth a Visual Guide- Resource and Reference

 

Biographies-Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature's Mysteries from Perilous Places, Diving to a Deep Sea Volcano (Scientists in the Field Series), The Last River: John Powell and the Colorado River Expedition (longer picture book)

Activities-  Collect and identify rocks and crystals

Journal- Diagram earth’s layers and formation process of different rocks and shapes of crystals

Video- BBC: Planet Earth, Space,State of the Planet, The Planets, How the EArth was Made

Field Trips- Visit construction sites to look at soil strata, visit local geologic sites using Roadside Geology as a guide (we already visited the largest cave of our state this summer)

 

Earth Science: Astronomy

Books- A Child’s Intro to the Night Sky, The Way the Universe Works, Merlin’s Tour of the Universe- de Grasse Tyson, Stories in the Sky Dot to Dot in the Sky, Cosmos: A Field Guide

Biography: Recentering the Universe: The Radical Theories of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton, The Mighty Mars Rover- SiF (Scientist in the Field)

 

Activities- Chart Moon movements, find constellations

NASA star finder (fun easy craft) http://www.nasa.gov/...r_06-19-03.html

Make a star wheel http://www.skyandtel...Star_Wheel.html

Make a planisphere http://www.nrc-cnrc....tions/html.html

Skymaps http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html

Journal- Constellation Diagrams

Video- Cosmos

Field Trips- Stargazing- local stargazing club

 

 

 

 

 

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We're planning on using the CPO earth science next year for 6th. 

 

There are 2 versions: "Focus on..." and the other (not quite sure what to call it.  Original? Basic?  Normal?)  The "Focus on..." series follows California standards, while "original" follows national.  There are minor differences between them, mostly in when information is introduced in a 3 year middle-school cycle of earth, life and physical science.  So, space & astronomy is in the "original" earth science text.  In the "Focus On..." series, Space and Astronomy is introduced in the physical science book.

 

I'm leaning towards the original series, mostly because DD 11 loves astronomy and I'd love to include it next year as an "official" part of our studies, not just an extra.  

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We're planning on using the CPO earth science next year for 6th.

 

There are 2 versions: "Focus on..." and the other (not quite sure what to call it. Original? Basic? Normal?) The "Focus on..." series follows California standards, while "original" follows national. There are minor differences between them, mostly in when information is introduced in a 3 year middle-school cycle of earth, life and physical science. So, space & astronomy is in the "original" earth science text. In the "Focus On..." series, Space and Astronomy is introduced in the physical science book.

 

I'm leaning towards the original series, mostly because DD 11 loves astronomy and I'd love to include it next year as an "official" part of our studies, not just an extra.

Is CPO completely secular? I hadn't looked at it before, but their sample chapter looked promising for us!

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Oh, those TC look cool!  When you watch them do you *do* anything with it?  Have dc write or anything?

 

We watched one on greek myths and ds2 hated it so much he asked for earmuffs for Christmas so he did not have to hear that woman anymore  :lol:   

 

Ms. VanDiver (the classical mythology lady) is one of the reasons my son wants to major in Classics.  We have listened to almost everything she offers.  If he didn't like her, don't have him listen to the Viking's guy.  Wow, he was even hard for me to listen to and Dh openly mocked the guy.  We stopped after about four lectures.

 

Ds has to write up one essay a week.  Approximately 5 paragraphs or 2-3 handwritten pages.  It can be about anything he learned from the previous week, but has to contain at least three sources.  It means he has to do a bit of a quick Google search or grab a library book; nothing intense.  Often times the Great Courses show up in there somewhere.  Not every week, but on a pretty good rotation.

 

We also discuss them pretty heavily.  Even though each lecture is only a half hour, they normally take at least an hour with pausing to discuss what was said.  He does not have to take notes yet, but he might start pretty soon so he doesn't have to go back and find the part in the lecture he wants to quote for his essays.  That bugs him quite a bit.  It would be much quicker if he could go back and see approximately which lecture and where in the lecture it was stated.

 

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Is CPO completely secular? I hadn't looked at it before, but their sample chapter looked promising for us!

 

Yes, it is - it's sold as a public school textbook. 

 

If you do some searching on google you can find e-book versions of the text.  Plus, all of the workbook stuff is available on CPO's website (under "ancillaries").

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UPDATE:

 

We have made a decision and I'm purchasing today! 

 

 

This is the 2001 edition, and I will be buying it used because I don't want to support Pearson, who now owns Prentice Hall.. I found it for a very reasonable price. We've been using it from the library, but I can guarantee at SOME time I will have to return it. LOL

0130506222.jpg

Science Explorer: Earth Science (Grades 6-9)
Prentice Hall
Published by Pearson Prentice Hall (2001)

It contains: 
1. Introduction to Earth Science
2. Mapping Earth's Surface
3. Minerals
4. Rocks
5. Plate Tectonics
6. Earthquakes
7. Volcanoes
8. Weathering and Soil Formation
9. Erosion and Deposition
10. A Trip Through Geologic Time
11. Energy Resources
12. Fresh Water
13. Ocean Motions
14. Ocean Zones
15. The Atmosphere
16. Weather Factors
17. Weather Patterns
18. Climate and Climate Change
19. The Solar System
20. Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

These are all the topics she told me she wanted to work on next year (except for climate change and the ocean, but it excited her to see it).

Now to write the lesson plans and figure out how to deal with tests. I've never done that before. The book is 800 pages long. Obviously, we won't be doing it all!

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