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"Exploring the Way Life Works"--what age?


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I think 5th grade is too early for most kids, but it would depend on a student's reading comprehension skills, motivation, and interest in the topic.  If, however, you were going to read it *to* your student and then discuss it, then you could probably do 5th grade, but it would still a bit on the hard side.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Just got our copy in today - I'm going to use it with my sixth grader (11) next year to begin to take notes and understanding a text. It looks really interesting and highly visual, just right for an intro to all this.

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Although with a gifted 5th grader....maybe ?

 

My older boy read it independently as a 5th grader, but he was also reading Scientific American as a 5th grader. I would not even consider giving it to my younger.  It is actually a pretty difficult book. 

 

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Just in case there is any confusion....

 

There are two similar books by the same author:

 

The Way Life Works: The Science Lover's Illustrated Guide to How Life Grows, Develops, Reproduces, and Gets Along

and

Exploring the Way Life Works: The Science of Biology

 

I believe the former is for younger students, the latter is for older ones. (This has caused me confusion in the past, so I thought I'd mention it just in case anyone reading the thread isn't aware of the two books. :) )

 

(ETA: This isn't exactly correct--see Matryoshka's post downthread.)

 

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I tried to use Exploring the Way Life Works it in 7th and 8th grade respectively, and my kids felt patronized; they hated the cutesy pictures and similes "molecule bonds are like dancers holding hands".

In 5th, it would probably have been too hard content wise, but they might have been able to deal with the presentation.

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I tried to use Exploring the Way Life Works it in 7th and 8th grade respectively, and my kids felt patronized; they hated the cutesy pictures and similes "molecule bonds are like dancers holding hands".

In 5th, it would probably have been too hard content wise, but they might have been able to deal with the presentation.

 

This is my quandary. Not so much that my dd would be opposed--I'm not sure how she would react. I haven't shown her the book yet because I'm not sure I want that presentation. Would you have been happy with the book if your children were?

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Just in case there is any confusion....

 

There are two similar books by the same author:

 

The Way Life Works: The Science Lover's Illustrated Guide to How Life Grows, Develops, Reproduces, and Gets Along

and

Exploring the Way Life Works: The Science of Biology

 

I believe the former is for younger students, the latter is for older ones. (This has caused me confusion in the past, so I thought I'd mention it just in case anyone reading the thread isn't aware of the two books. :) )

 

Thanks for clarifying; I have the later.

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I tried to use Exploring the Way Life Works it in 7th and 8th grade respectively, and my kids felt patronized; they hated the cutesy pictures and similes "molecule bonds are like dancers holding hands".

In 5th, it would probably have been too hard content wise, but they might have been able to deal with the presentation.

 

 

This is my quandary. Not so much that my dd would be opposed--I'm not sure how she would react. I haven't shown her the book yet because I'm not sure I want that presentation. Would you have been happy with the book if your children were?

 

This is interesting, because it was dh's reaction to the book, too - I got it when Shannon was in 5th, and decided it was a little to much and that I'd save it for middle school.  He looked at it and said, "She won't want to read this in middle school, it's too cartoony and cutesy."  I don't actually mind the pictures and captions, I guess we'll just have to see what she thinks if/when we get there.

 

I keep running into this problem- finding a great resource for a certain age/grade, but then when we get there, we're on a different topic or something.  I can't seem to get when we're doing a topic aligned to the good resource I find for it.  

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Just in case there is any confusion....

 

There are two similar books by the same author:

 

The Way Life Works: The Science Lover's Illustrated Guide to How Life Grows, Develops, Reproduces, and Gets Along

and

Exploring the Way Life Works: The Science of Biology

 

I believe the former is for younger students, the latter is for older ones. (This has caused me confusion in the past, so I thought I'd mention it just in case anyone reading the thread isn't aware of the two books. :) )

 

I have both books.  The content is virtually identical; the difference is that the latter (Exploring) has been made into a textbook, so there's a bit more added.  The original text and illustrations are in there exactly as-is.  The additions are some text boxes about Doing Science (about real scientists and discoveries they had and how they came about), Science Tools (about some things like how genetic engineering works), and a few thinking/reflective Question boxes sprinkled here and there through the text (with suggested answers upside-down).  There is also end-of-chapter vocabulary and Discussion questions.

 

For my older two in 6th, I did the first book and they read/outlined it independently.  Don't know how much they really got from it; it was as a supplement to a full 6th-grade Life Science course.  TWLW goes into more detail in some areas, so I figured it couldn't hurt and would be a good exercise in note-taking/outlining. 

 

I'm doing it now with my younger in 7th, she does not like to read much (though she has plenty of ability to do so, it's more of a 'will she zone out' or 'will she say she read it when she really just skimmed' problem), so I decided to read it to her aloud.  We also do the Question/Answer boxes and the end-of-chapter Discussion questions interactively, and I have her enter all the end-of-chapter Vocab into Quizlet and review regularly.  For all these reasons, I sprung for the Exploring version, even though I had the other.  I think doing it interactively and specifically addressing things like Vocab is good to help her retain at least something from it - I'm pretty sure if I just had her read it, she'd retain nothing.

 

We're actually focusing on Chemistry this year; I am using this book mainly for exposure as for various reasons we weren't going to get to a full Life Science or Bio in middle school.  She'll do a full Biology course in 9th.

 

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I have both books.  The content is virtually identical; the difference is that the latter (Exploring) has been made into a textbook, so there's a bit more added.  The original text and illustrations are in there exactly as-is.  The additions are some text boxes about Doing Science (about real scientists and discoveries they had and how they came about), Science Tools (about some things like how genetic engineering works), and a few thinking/reflective Question boxes sprinkled here and there through the text (with suggested answers upside-down).  There is also end-of-chapter vocabulary and Discussion questions.

 

For my older two in 6th, I did the first book and they read/outlined it independently.  Don't know how much they really got from it; it was as a supplement to a full 6th-grade Life Science course.  TWLW goes into more detail in some areas, so I figured it couldn't hurt and would be a good exercise in note-taking/outlining. 

 

I'm doing it now with my younger in 7th, she does not like to read much (though she has plenty of ability to do so, it's more of a 'will she zone out' or 'will she say she read it when she really just skimmed' problem), so I decided to read it to her aloud.  We also do the Question/Answer boxes and the end-of-chapter Discussion questions interactively, and I have her enter all the end-of-chapter Vocab into Quizlet and review regularly.  For all these reasons, I sprung for the Exploring version, even though I had the other.  I think doing it interactively and specifically addressing things like Vocab is good to help her retain at least something from it - I'm pretty sure if I just had her read it, she'd retain nothing.

 

We're actually focusing on Chemistry this year; I am using this book mainly for exposure as for various reasons we weren't going to get to a full Life Science or Bio in middle school.  She'll do a full Biology course in 9th.

 

 I haven't seen both versions in person, so this is helpful! Thanks so much!

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I tried to use Exploring the Way Life Works it in 7th and 8th grade respectively, and my kids felt patronized; they hated the cutesy pictures and similes "molecule bonds are like dancers holding hands".

In 5th, it would probably have been too hard content wise, but they might have been able to deal with the presentation.

 

See, and the way my ds is, I think he'd love it. He'll be 11 in September and he still prefers cartoons and illustrations and fun. He loves  The Way Things Work by Macaulay too. His favorite of everything is of course Calvin & Hobbes, but that's another story. 

 

DD6 loved the looks of The Way Life Works. She was perusing the whole book as soon as we opened the package last night. DS10 knew it was school-related, so he didn't even look :001_rolleyes:  I was looking through it after she did, then I handed it over to DH to look through. I think once we actually start with it its going to get DS' attention. Of course DD is going to love it when she gets there. By the looks of it she may even join us as we're working through it. She's my artsy girl.

 

BTW, we're going to be using it once a week alongside our main curriculum, BFSU 3.

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Hmmmmm. I was planning on using it alongside BFSU in grade 5 as well. Now I am wondering if anybody knows which text is harder, this or Campbell's high school version biology?

I can't believe I am looking into the logic stage already. :)

O.K. DS is a rising fourth grader. He can't read Scientific American under any circumstances, but reads National Geographic articles fairly well.

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Hmmmmm. I was planning on using it alongside BFSU in grade 5 as well. Now I am wondering if anybody knows which text is harder, this or Campbell's high school version biology?

I can't believe I am looking into the logic stage already. :)

O.K. DS is a rising fourth grader. He can't read Scientific American under any circumstances, but reads National Geographic articles fairly well.

 

I think Campbell's is harder, but I could be wrong. I'm planning on using The Way Life Works as guided reading for my DS to help take notes from a science text. Since it's interesting and highly visual I'm hoping this will work. I'm planning on using Campbell's college text in high school. DS10 is a very good reader. I think I may have him try reading National Geographic and Scientific American. I don't know if he'll be interested, though. He likes kiddish things, so these may not appeal to him (yet).

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