Natural Science Mysteries, Chapter 3, Activities
The 8th grade course is set up much like the 7th grade course, but with even more science topics covered. Like Basic Science Mysteries, each day's lesson begins with a piece of a fictional mystery that ties in with the science topic for the lesson. Lessons at this level are a bit longer, typically 3 or more pages in length. Concepts from life science, earth and space science, and physical science are all incorporated, with a mix of topics in each text. Some topics covered in this course include: the animal kingdom, cell structure and function, plant kingdoms, plant reproduction, diffusion and osmosis, edible and non-edible plant parts, the earth's atmosphere, climate zones, states of matter, liquid and weight measurements, atomic theory, the Periodic Table, chemical families, covalent and atomic bonds, acids and bases, element symbols and numbers, pitch and sound, reflection and refraction, lenses, solar cells, batteries, place value and exponents. The texts are available either in printed format or all on one CD-ROM in PDF format. The full course kit contains printed texts, printed activity books, and the printed and CD-ROM formats of the Teacher's Resource Kit. Jess
Natural Science Mysteries as an eighth-grade course, these texts cover Earth and life sciences, plus studies on the Periodic Table of the Elements and the solar system. Each scientific concept is enhanced by adventure vignettes in which young people help solve community mysteries by applying the scientific method of discovery and character traits of integrity, honesty, commitment, diligence, and kindness. Students learn how virtues and personal responsibility upgrade moral character. The narrative, high-interest approach of this series engages students so they progress through comprehensive scientific material with clarity and engagement. Students are exposed to scientific evidence which explores traditional and contemporary theories about the origin of life and the formation of our planet and universe. Texts allow the student to evaluate theories from a scientific and rational perspective. Companion Activities "walk the student" through the text in chronological order. Selected questions in Activities also serve as preparation for state academic assessment exams. Activities are applicable in homes, classrooms, or in individualized learning centers in which students progress through the course with interest, understanding, and content mastery.
Designed specifically for self-study (although they can also be used in a classroom situation), these courses have a few things in common with Alpha Omega LIFEPACs. First of all, the course is broken down into booklet-sized increments. Secondly, the work is primarily reading and workbook activities. Hands-on "lab" activities are not incorporated into the courses, although you could add them on fairly easily. One major difference, however, is that Paradigm Accelerated courses are not written from a religious standpoint, although they promote good values and are more conservative than most other secular curriculums. One final general note: Paradigm's courses are designed to appeal to all students, even those who may not be interested in science. If your student already loves science and is looking towards a science-related major in college, they may need a more rigorous program.
The courses are made up of text booklets, activity booklets, and a teacher's resource kit. (For some courses, the text portion is available on CD-ROM in .pdf format.) All of the instruction to the student is found in the text. Text booklets each represent a chapter of the course and typically contain three sections, each of which is split into five lessons, or 15 lessons per chapter. Each lesson is between three and four pages in length, and they are usually focused on a specific topic. Definitions of introduced vocabulary used in the lesson and black-and-white illustrations and diagrams further augment each lesson. Lessons always end with a Life Principle, which is usually a thought-provoking quote from a notable individual that relates in some way to the lesson. After the lesson has been read, the student can complete the corresponding activity pages which are typically made up of short-answer, multiple-choice, true/false, and "list" questions that reinforce the lesson. Students are also asked to write the Life Principle for the lesson. There are about 15-25 questions for each lesson which is a fair amount, considering the length of the lesson itself. After five lessons and lesson activities have been completed, there is a review quiz. Quizzes include approximately 50 questions, mostly short answer and multiple-choice. Chapter tests are taken after a whole chapter has been studied and are about 50 questions in length. Quizzes and chapter tests are found in the Teacher's Resource Packet, which also includes complete answer keys and forms for teacher use. Please note that no answers are found in the student materials. Teacher's Resource Kits are available as a CD-ROM with .pdf files or as a loose-leaf paper copy with the CD-ROM. The content is identical between the CD and the paper copy but there may be times when one form or the other is more convenient. (Please note the publisher is transitioning from CD-ROMS to digital downloads.) - Jess
Items listed in this section tend to be complete science programs with a teacher and student component, requiring few supplements besides science supplies.