Designed to teach science in a way that engages the minds of all students, Discover! Science is an exciting curriculum that integrates the neuroscience of learning with research-based instructional strategies. Teaching the 3 branches of Science through visual and textual lessons, hands-on activities, real-life connections, and critical thinking exercises, each grade level connects prior knowledge to new concepts and skills. Along with the branches of Science, the worktexts explain the scientific method and apply it in increasing depth through the grades. Engineering, Technology, and the Application of Sciences are also covered.
Grades are formatted similarly with two student worktexts and the Instructor Guide for the year. Currently, these are only available in a kit.
With its horizontal presentation, consumable student worktexts begin with an introduction to the worktexts and instructor guides. The guides provide a lesson plan overview and an explanation of the lessons. Lessons are organized topically into chapters and include a review lesson at the end of the chapter. The number of lessons vary by grade (71-78 lessons), with each lesson taking 2-3 days to complete, for a total of 150 lessons per year. Additional enrichment activities are included that encourage students to explore topics more in-depth. Lessons are written to the student and divided into four parts: Lesson Overview, Explore, Direct Instruction, and Show What You Know. In the Lesson Overview, students learn the lesson objectives, vocabulary words to know, and materials for any hands-on activities. Hands-on activities use easily found items. Parents may wish to check lessons ahead of time to have items available. The Explore section encourages students to discover new concepts by introducing the topic and asking reflective or observational type questions. Real life connections are included in many lessons. Reading, reflecting through written responses, and practice is at the heart of the Direct Instruction. Practice focuses on applying what the student has read through hands-on activities which vary from pencil and paper activities like drawing or matching exercises, to hands-on experiments. The final part of each lesson, Show What You Know, has students demonstrate what they learned through fill-in-the-blank and true or false exercises. Additional activities are scattered throughout the lessons and may include artistic assignments like creating a poster, doing real world observations and science investigations, online connections to research the topic (parent supervision recommended), or lesson related game or role playing. Lessons are engagingly written with vibrant photographs and illustrations, plenty of text white space to help readers not be overwhelmed by text, and space to respond to written exercises.
The Instructor Guide is a helpful tool that breaks down each lesson into objectives, suggestions to support your student through the lessons, ideas to teach the different learning styles, and extension activities. Answer keys to all lesson questions are also included. Every chapter includes an assessment which contains a quick review followed by a project or experiment, or traditional pencil and paper test. Assessment questions vary and may include matching exercises, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer. Assessments in the Instructor Guide are reproducible for family use. A Grading Rubric and Answers are also included.
Meeting the learning needs of all 21st century students, this well-organized curriculum will engage science passionate and science resistant learners. I applaud the publisher’s effort to design a science curriculum that is comprehensive, with enrichment activities that are effective and homeschool friendly. See individual grade levels for topics covered.