Signs & Seasons Field Journal and Test Manual

Signs & Seasons Field Journal and Test Manual

# 003309

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Item #: 003309
ISBN: 9780979221118
Grades: 7-12

Product Description:

Sure, we all study astronomy in high school, but does the astronomy you studied help you to navigate, tell time, or even identify the planets as they appear to us in the sky? Probably not, if you, like me and many others, studied astronomy primarily as "modern astronomy" which offers dazzling telescopic photos of the planets, and information based on measurements made by astronomers. So, what's the difference? Classical astronomy is based on how humans on earth view the sky, and how we can learn the patterns of movement of the sun, moon and stars and apply this knowledge for practical use. This is the way astronomy has been studied for centuries, before we developed high-tech instruments to satisfy our never-ending curiosity about the surfaces of other planets, the structure of stars and planets, and what else is out there. To fulfill this purpose, Signs & Seasons focuses on learning classical astronomy through the cycles of movement of celestial bodies and how these change through a day, a month, and a year. The course is written from a Biblical standpoint, and author Jay Ryan reminds us that the sun, moon and stars were actually created for keeping time, though we may rarely think of them in this way. Seven chapters (and an epilogue) cover an introduction to the sky, day, night, the cycle of the month, the position of the sun in the sky and its' apparent movement to us, the cycle of the year, the seasonal stars, "wandering" stars (planets), and the calendar. Topics studied within include the divisions of the day, astronomical alignments, the circle of the meridian, phases of the moon, eclipses and why they occur, changes in the sky through the seasons, the motions of the planets, and much more. Historical information is woven throughout the text, which ties together what we observe in the skies today, and what ancient astronomers learned from viewing the same sky years ago. Each chapter is formatted like a science text, with very readable, fascinating text accompanied by large, clear, grayscale illustrations that offer a visual component that matches the reading. The diagrams that show the movement of the stars are especially helpful, as they show their change in position over time, from the ground, so they should be similar to what you observe in the night sky. Quotes from the Bible, famous astronomers, and others are scattered throughout the text, and in keeping with the "classical" theme, historical woodcuts and vintage art are also used.

Following the text portion of the book, you'll find a section of "field activities" to be used with each chapter. These include making observations in a field journal, sketching diagrams of the sun, moon and stars and doing hands-on manipulative activities with a globe and cardboard models. Activities are given for all major topics covered which allow you to see the astronomical topics in practice and are sure to make them memorable! Guiding questions accompany the observation activities and give students a guideline for their journal entries as they observe. An appendix at the end of the book holds a glossary, bibliographies of quoted authors, astronomical tables for viewing the stars and planets, a bibliography and index.

To extend the learning experience of the textbook into an official high school science course for credit, you will probably want to use the Field Journal and Test Manual. For each chapter in the textbook, there are related hands-on and observation activities to complete. Many activities ask the student to sketch their observations, and a reproducible activity log is included in the front of the book so they can keep a record of the time they have spent watching the sky. Hands-on activities include making a backyard compass and making "volvelles" or paper wheel calculators that are used to simulate the motions of the heavenly bodies. In the introduction, the author reminds readers that they may not be able to complete all of the activities in order, due to the time of the year or weather conditions, so they may have to skip back and forth a bit to complete them. Eight chapter tests and test answers are included at the end of the book. The journal/manual is reproducible for individual family use only. 180 pages, pb.

So, if you think you've already covered astronomy, sit tight and enjoy this course which helps you understand what you actually see when you look up at the stars at night. 262 pgs, hc. - Jess

Category Description for Astronomy Curriculum:
Category Description for ASTRONOMY / SPACE:
Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Jay Ryan
Softcover Book
Brand Name
Fourth Day Press
0.95 (lbs.)
11.0" x 8.5" x 0.75"
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Browse 1 question Browse 1 question and 31 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
JESSICA S on Jan 22, 2023
My grandson is interested in Astronomy. He is in the 8th grade. I thought this<br />would be a good pick for him.
MARY ANN C on Nov 20, 2021
JESSICA S on Jan 22, 2023
Needed for Threads of Ames class
Holly A on Jun 23, 2022
My grandson is interested in Astronomy. He is in the 8th grade. I thought this<br />would be a good pick for him.
MARY ANN C on Nov 20, 2021
We need the field Journal to go with the Text. I look forward to using this field journal slowly over the next 3 years with my boys and savoring the lessons we gain in observation.
Lindsay M on Aug 13, 2021
We got the course book to study the sky clock and we need some paper proof for our son's records.
Jenna C on Aug 1, 2021
to complement and reinforce the reading of the matching book
Makayla B on Jul 14, 2021
We will be using this for our homeschool science curriculum.
Julie L on Jun 23, 2021
Great program! We worked through it with our first child and will continue through the rest of our children
Lauren P on Apr 30, 2021
Recommended by a curriculum, but using to create our own Astronomy Study
Jezrah H on Apr 8, 2021
recommend by rainbow resource curriculum advisor
Chunlei L on May 8, 2020
Our daughter wanted to study Astronomy for her science this year and when I saw this, I thought it would be a good addition to her studies.
Angia G on Oct 5, 2019
A prepared way to the hands-on work that will help solidify the concepts being learned in the textbook. I also found the tests really helped us determine what the students understood and what we needed to learn more about.
Karen W on Oct 2, 2019
I wanted our whole family to learn why God created the celestial bodies.
Marisa G on Aug 29, 2019
To go along with the main book. Great science program
Halima G on Nov 28, 2018
It's the material that comes with the prior order.
Carlos R on Sep 1, 2018
Required book for Ambleside Online course. Rainbow Resourse Center had by far the best prices, and the books are new, not used like you'd find on E-bay etc.
Kay R on Aug 27, 2018
I chose this to go along with the textbook.
Summer A on Aug 19, 2018
Looking forward to doing these actvities with our child and learning along with her!
Rosalee on Aug 3, 2018
class requires
Lisa K on Jul 25, 2018
We chose this to accompany the text book.
Kristi B on Jul 16, 2018
For us by my highschool students
Jessica S on Jan 23, 2018
I do enjoy the main textbook, but I think it will *get done* better with a field guide for each child (I have 2 using the book.)
Amy H on Feb 23, 2017
To complete the curriculum
Lisa F on Sep 2, 2016
To use with my son's astronomy course
Keely A on Aug 24, 2016
Needed for Co-op
Nathan L on Jul 30, 2016
for an astronomy class
Angela J on Jul 29, 2016
My 9th grade son is not a science type of kid and this seems a good biblical based approach for his high school requirement.
Victoria C on Jun 29, 2016
Taking Exploring Astronomy on line. Using this as supplement.
Lisa T on Jun 23, 2016
My 14 yo son will be using this book along with the text to fulfill a course in astronomy.
Cynthia B on Jun 7, 2016
?This product had rave reviews and my daughter is wanting a high school astronomy class from a biblical view. Needed it to go along with textbook.
Melynda B on Dec 29, 2015
Ambleside Online Year 7 book, cheaper than Amazon
Amy G on Dec 17, 2015
Needed for Threads of Ames class
Holly A on Jun 23, 2022
We need the field Journal to go with the Text. I look forward to using this field journal slowly over the next 3 years with my boys and savoring the lessons we gain in observation.
Lindsay M on Aug 13, 2021
4.7 / 5.0
3 Reviews
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1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Scheduling Help
I already wrote a review for this product back in 2017, so this second review is less of a review, and more of a reply to the previous review to absolutely support his opinion that this book needs a much better schedule! I wrote a schedule for my own children, which will take you through all of the activities in this field journal in a single school year. That means the field journal will not be worked through in the order in which it was written! My schedule can be found on the site Teachers pay Teachers. Search for "Signs and Seasons Schedule." Jay Ryan (the author) is somewhat schedule-adverse, but he gave me permission to share it. I hope it can help others.
April 1, 2022
Rated 4 out of 5
A well-written book, but the scheduling needs work
The first activity of the school year had me floored on what an incredibly great text this is. My daughter made observations throughout the day and was able to determine north. So cool!

We're using this as a high school "lab text". I wanted to issue my student a full credit in high school astronomy, so we're using Exploring Creation with High School Astronomy for 1 semester and Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy for 1 semester (although we usually do a chapter of 1 and a chapter of the other throughout the year). We also are using the Signs and Seasons Field Guide as a "lab" text.

I wish I had known at the beginning that the book is not designed to just open and go. The author does not have a traditional school year in mind, but expects this book to be used as you go throughout your life. For example, on the last chapter of the field guide, it asks you to make observations four times a month for the next 12 months (even though a school year lasts less than 12 months and this is the last activity you are starting). Also in the last chapter, you are asked to view three events that take place every 12 to 14 months.

If I had to do it all over again, I would still use this text book, but I would organize observations very differently.
March 14, 2022
Rated 5 out of 5
I cannot imagine trying to work through this book without the Field Journal. I bought one for each of my girls, and they are invaluable. Each activity has a page with the directions on it, and a provided box to sketch the sky or answer the questions. It helps keep everything organized, and makes us feel like we are fully understanding the material when we are able to complete the whole page. (I am using the book with a 6th grader and 7th grader. We also live in a large city and doing this is our backyard. Therefore, we are skipping complex or impossible to see activities. With those limitations, I am only planning to finish about 80% of the field journal.) Worth every penny.
September 20, 2017
over 5 years ago

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