Spectrum Science 2015

The newest edition (2015 copyright) of this series is essentially the same as the previous edition (2008 copyright). The books provide lessons (seven is grades 3-5 and nine in grades 6-8) in each of seven areas (chapters): science as inquiry, physical science, life science, earth and space science, science and technology, science in personal and social perspectives, and the history and nature of science. There are chapter reviews for each chapter and cumulative tests over chapters 1-3 and chapters 1-7. A complete answer key is provided in the back. Lessons provide a one-page essay/article with a second page of exercise questions that include vocabulary, comprehension, and recall. An article sidebar lists vocabulary words, provides related quotes, and supplies short autobiographical information on people mentioned in the articles. 176 pgs, pb

The text reads like short articles on science, and because a wide range of topics are covered, there's something here for everyone - not just students who already love science. Questions are usually a mix of multiple-choice, short-answer, matching, true/false or long answer. Occasionally, an extension activity is also provided, such as researching the topic further, or doing an activity like trying to locate a planet in the night sky. For review and assessment, there are end-of chapter reviews, the multi-chapter tests, and a final test. Answer keys are provided in each one, and because the pages are perforated, you can remove it if you wish. With the mix of scientific information, real-life science applications, stories of scientific discovery, and lots of questions for each, these would be a nice supplement to a more informal science course at the earlier grades, or a very hands-on science course at any grade.

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