Adventures with Atoms & Molecules Book 1 Chemistry Experiments

Adventures with Atoms & Molecules Book 1 Chemistry Experiments

# 011656

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Item #: 011656
ISBN: 9780766012240
Grades: PK-AD

Although we have added several new science programs over the past two years, Elemental Science offers some very unique features and will likely appeal to both Classical and Charlotte Mason home educators. The main difference? The program basically provides a framework of study and lesson plans while your science "text" and experiments are found in a selection of excellent, high-interest resources including DK, Usborne, and Kingfisher

Category Description for Elemental Science:

If you prefer your science "outside the textbook" then you'll want to look at Elemental Science. Designed as a Classical science program "loosely based on the ideas for classical science education that are laid out in The Well-Trained Mind," this one may also appeal to Charlotte Mason home educators. The program itself provides a framework of science study while your science "text" and experiments are found in a selection of quality resource books including DK, Usborne, Kingfisher and Janice VanCleave titles. Your child will explore science through excellent reading material, experiments and hands-on projects, notebooking, and memorization. Written to be religiously neutral, the origins of life and earth are not studied in depth, although several reading selections from secular resource books will contain phrases such as “millions of years ago,” or references to the Big Bang Theory. Currently Preschool, Kindergarten, Grammar Stage, Logic Stage and High School or Rhetoric Stage.

Grammar Stage programs have been updated with expanded Teacher Guides, and an improved page layout. Updated versions feature more teaching information with each weekly lesson plan, expanded (optional) topical book lists, a shift from science “experiments” to teacher-led “demonstrations,” more detailed explanations of narration (notebooking) assignments, and optional lapbooking assignments (will require purchase of the lapbooking e-book from Elemental Science). Quizzes are no longer included in the updated Teacher Guides, but are available as ebooks from the publisher.

Each level of the program is made up of two books: a Teacher’s Guide and a Student Workbook. The Teacher’s Guide holds everything you need to know to teach the course including lesson plans, materials lists, suggested book lists, forms, quizzes and quiz answers. The Student Workbook provides all of the worksheet pages the student will fill in through the course, including narration/summary/journal pages, experiment pages, ongoing projects, and pictures for narration. Every course is divided up into 36 weeks of study. In many of the courses, you will spend a “chunk” of weeks focusing on one topic, then the next several weeks studying another. In Biology for the Grammar Stage, students spend 20 weeks on animals, ten on the human body, and six weeks on plants.

If you appreciate organization with built-in flexibility, you will love how the Teacher’s Guide is laid out. Each guide opens with an explanation of the components, the activities that the student will be completing, and recommendations for including an older student. In Biology for the Logic Stage, this introductory teaching material is more extensive and includes suggestions for including a younger student. After the teaching information, you’ll find the list of text resources and experiment books you’ll need for the program, and a topical index broken down by week. At this point, the Teacher’s Guide is segmented by topic, each one beginning with an overview of what will be studied, a comprehensive list of supplies needed by week, and memory work. Now we arrive at the “meat” of the Teacher’s Guide – the lesson plans. For each week, you’ll find not one but two complete lesson plans. One plan presents a 5-day science schedule while the other plan is a 2-day schedule. Depending on how the rest of your subjects are scheduled, one of these options will probably work better for you. Each suggested schedule is provided in grid form, with a list of assignments for each day. The 5-day schedule incorporates a mix into every day, while the 2-day schedule breaks it down into readings, activities, and other assignments. The rest of the information provided on these pages is virtually identical between the 5- and 2-day schedules and includes a supply list for the week, vocabulary with definitions, short summaries of the experiments to be completed and additional project/activity information. Updated versions actually combine the teaching information, then feature both schedules on one page. After the lesson plans, you’ll find a short appendix with additional teacher helps and templates for several of the forms given in the student book.

The Student Workbook holds the workbook pages for each type of activity. All of the forms for ongoing projects (especially observation) are found at the beginning of the book, followed by narration pages, experiment pages and pictures for the narrations. The pages are clean and form-like, with crisp printing and lines for writing. In Biology and Earth Science/Astronomy for the Grammar Stage, students will do frequent narration. The Student Workbook includes all the pages needed for the unit projects, narrations, lab reports, and a glossary. (In Biology, blackline pictures are provided in the back of the Student Workbook, which students paste into the box on the page, then write several lines about what they learned. Or, as an alternative, students can draw their own pictures.) The pictures are really my only quibble with the workbooks; they are all illustrated by the author and scanned, so they are very simple, somewhat fuzzy and off-black. In Chemistry for the Grammar Stage, narration pages are replaced by Definition and Summary pages. Definition pages are formatted like Narration pages with an empty box and several lines for writing. Students create their own dictionary of chemical terms by pasting the picture of the item in the box and write a definition. Summary pages are very much like narration pages, where the student writes what they have learned about the topic. At the Physics for the Grammar Stage level, narration pages are called Journal pages, and these feature more space for the student to write more extensively on the topic they learned about, and define new terms at the bottom of the page. At all grammar stage levels, students write about experiments completed, including materials, procedure, results and observations.

I’ve spent the bulk of the description talking about the grammar stage programs, but as mentioned previously, there are two programs for younger learners: Intro to Science for K-1 and Exploring Science for PK-K or K4/K5. These are structured similarly to the grammar stage programs, but simplified for younger learners. At this level, the program emphasizes observation, hands-on activities, nature studies, read-alouds from resource and library books – and lots of coloring (although I have already noted some concerns about the graphics with the upper levels, you may want to locate alternative coloring pages especially at this level, as young students may not be particularly eager to color some of these rough sketches). These are also 36-week courses, with weekly assignments provided in a bullet-point-like format and two scheduling options (2- and 5-day) provided. In Intro to Science, you’ll spend six weeks each on chemistry, physics, geology, meteorology, botany and zoology. Exploring Science spends four weeks each on “the world around me,” water, air, weather, plants, Earth, chemistry, sound, and motion. Recommended library books are listed for each week, and there are just a few primary resources you’ll use all year long. For Intro to Science, these are More Mudpies to Magnets, Handbook of Nature Study, and Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia. Exploring Science uses only Science Play as a basis for experiments (reading selections are found in other resources). Student pages at this level provide very simple experiment record forms, coloring pages and blank pages to paste results from activities.

At the logic stage, you still have the two different scheduling options, but the student’s work is somewhat more intense. Each week focuses on one topic and typically includes an experiment, vocabulary and memory work, a sketching assignment, a writing assignment, and important dates to enter on a date sheet. Several different writing options are suggested in the Teacher’s Guide, including having the student write an outline based on the spine text, writing a narrative summary based on the spine text or writing both. At this level, the student is given all of their assignments in their Student Guide, and these are duplicated in the Teacher’s Guide as well. The Teacher’s Guide also holds the suggested schedules, notes on the experiment and expected results, comprehension questions to ask the student (with answers), examples of finished sketches with labels, and additional activity suggestions. Like the lower levels, an appendix is also included for the teacher with examples of student work (including sample outlines and narrative summaries), copies of forms that the student will use, and more. Unit tests and answers are also included in the Teacher’s Guide. The Student Guide will also feel familiar if you have used a grammar stage level. All “Ongoing Project” forms are found in the front, followed by the group of forms and worksheets the student will use that week (including the main assignment list for the week). Ongoing Projects at this level include keeping track of important dates on four date sheets (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern Times) and working on a science fair project for the year. The author highly recommends completing a science fair project for the year, and a series of project worksheets help guide the student through the process.

If your young student already loves to pore over science books, I would anticipate that they would enjoy this program. The supporting resources are quality books, and there is a nice balance of activities and reading. Because the student generates so much of the content in the Student Workbook, these really become a complete, personalized record of student work. Some other “pluses” to this program are the ease of use (the lesson plans are already laid out for you!) and the price, which is reasonable. The cost will vary depending on which resources you already own and which you decide to purchase, but on the whole I would expect it to be comparable or lower than many other programs in this section. I also appreciate that the topics are leveled by stage, which makes it easy to know where to jump in, and also that you’ll be covering life science, astronomy, chemistry and physics at each stage, following the classical cycle. Because the program is religiously neutral, you will not find much “editing” necessary either way and may choose to supplement with your own resources to explain origins if you and your child want to study that further. Although the content is straightforward, the author is available to provide support via email, and there is a Yahoo group as well.


Items listed in this section tend to be complete science programs with a teacher and student component, requiring few supplements besides science supplies.

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Trade Paper
Series Title
Adventures with Science Ser.
EHS Title
Adventures with Science
9 to 14
Young Adult
Softcover Book
Brand Name
Enslow Publishers
0.4 (lbs.)
9.0" x 6.0" x 0.25"
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Recommended from Well Trained Mind
Yoana B on Aug 20, 2019
Suggestion from "The Well-Trained Mind" to teach my young children basic chemistry.
Drina E on Nov 29, 2016
Recommended from Well Trained Mind
Yoana B on Aug 20, 2019
Alison J on Aug 1, 2017
Suggestion from "The Well-Trained Mind" to teach my young children basic chemistry.
Drina E on Nov 29, 2016
school required
Marvin, Jr M on Aug 13, 2016
They were recommended in the book, "The Well Trained Mind" and I thought I would check them out.
Altanita P on Jan 5, 2016
Alison J on Aug 1, 2017
school required
Marvin, Jr M on Aug 13, 2016
If this is book 1, what are the other books?
A shopper on Sep 24, 2018
BEST ANSWER: There is another book by the same title that is Book 2. It contains more experiments. I do not own it but have gotten it from our library.
4.6 / 5.0
5 Reviews
5 Stars
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1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Great book for my 3rd grader
We are enjoying this book. Each chapter is short, about 2 pages with very do-able science experiments that go along with each chapter. I don't think I've had to buy anything special for any of the experiments yet...most items I already had in my kitchen/home. (I have skipped maybe 2 experiments). Great introduction to chemistry.
April 26, 2016
over 5 years ago
Rated 3 out of 5
Basic Experiments
I didn't really like this book much. The directions could be more detailed. It was easy for my 3rd grader to do but some of the experiments were flops.
November 2, 2015
over 5 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Overwhelmed! That�s how I felt when I contemplated the thought of introducing chemistry to my third grader After looking into a number of resources I finally settled on �Adventures With Atoms and Molecules Book 1 � a slim paperback containing 30 basic chemistry experiments for children It�s turned out to be a wonderful resourceThis is a budget-friendly no frills kind of book with simple black and white illustrations (clearly rendered on a 1980s era computer) But don�t let the simple presentation fool you: the authors Robert C Mebane and Thomas R Rybolt do a terrific job of presenting basic chemistry concepts My third grader has been totally enthusiastic about these experimentsand so have I! Each numbered experiment is titled with the question that you and your young scientist are setting out to try to answer �Are Gas Molecules Father Apart Than Liquid Molecules?� is just one example Following the question you�ll find a list of all the materials you�ll need to do the experiment Almost all of these are household materials; on rare occasions you may need to buy some items but none will break the bank You should be prepared before diving into this book to make sure you have vinegar baking soda balloons measuring cups and a few other often-repeated items on handFollowing the materials list you�ll find sections labeled procedure observation and discussion Procedure provides the step-by-step instructions needed to do the experiment observations provides questions to help a child think through what they�ve just seen and done and discussion provides a slightly longer scientific explanation complete with important terms underlined The terms are defined within the text itself; there�s no glossary in the back Teachers should also be aware that the experiment question is never answered explicitly within the text though it�s usually a pretty straightforward task for the child to reach the answer through a well-guided discussionAn �Other Things to Try� section suggests other possibilities for children to explore further I�ve especially liked the way that section encourages ongoing curiosityMuch of the value of �Adventures With Atoms and Molecules� comes through its clear presentation of the scientific method I do think it would be helpful if the authors made a more obvious point of saying that It would also be helpful if they provided an overarching list for the teacher of the concepts presented As you and your student move along you will find that there is an order to the concepts that makes a lot of sense and that several important concepts are covered in various experiments including atoms and molecules states of matter and changing states electrons heat/work conversion and more A simple one or two page section for the teacher with an overview of what concepts are presented and when would be invaluable Without it teachers will need to work a bit harder to pull those concepts out beforehand The experiments will prove even more enriching if you do that and then supplement with further age-appropriate reading to enforce the concepts We�ve also enjoyed taking brief respites from these experiments to do some art and food themed experiments (from �Super Science Concoctions�) that tie into the things learned hereHooray! We�re doing chemistry in the kitchen! I almost can�t believe how excited we�ve grown about science this year and much of it is thanks to this great little book
October 29, 2010
Rated 5 out of 5
When I first purchased Adventures with Atoms and Molecules I wondered how thorough a program it was as the experiments seemed very simple Now after going through the first and second volumes I�m impressed with it The books are easy to follow and give clear explanations to chemical terms I used them along with The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Science and The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia as a unit study with my 3rd and 7th graders and they both found chemistry interesting through these experiments Each volume has thirty experiments and each experiment begins with a question which my kids enjoyed hypothesizing on Next a list of needed materials follows These are everyday items that households include such as baking soda cooking oil ice plastic bags and coins The steps of each experiment are laid out very clearly; they can easily be followed by a child with little or no direct involvement from his parent There is no teacher prep involved and I was relieved that each experiment worked as indicated After each experiment there is a discussion giving an explanation for what was observed as well as questions to indicate what to watch for in the result and why and how it worked This is where new terms which are underlined are introduced Variations are given on most experiments allowing the child to explore the subject further if he wishes Each experiment also has a sketch of the result The author suggests going through the books in order If you are using it as the basis of a course this is recommended as the experiments build on each other For example polymers are first met in the introduction and then revisited three times in the first volume and again in the second This book can also be used to supplement another science program as each experiment can stand alone There is an index in each book making it easy to find an experiment on a certain topic Subjects covered in the first book are the make-up of an atom diffusion weight and attraction of molecules air polar and non-polar molecules enzymes chemical reactions mixtures chromatography evaporation condensation polymers and monomers density salt water bases and alkalis acids ions and air pressure The second builds on these and adds insulators conductors crystallization single and double bonds oxidation and reduction proteins osmosis and endothermic and exothermic reactions As a curriculum guide on its own it glides past some of the basics such as the three stages of matter the periodic table and famous chemists We added a bit of library study and memorized the elements� symbols and main characteristics to round it out As an experiment guide though it can't be beat for its price and style It gives a very hands-on introduction to chemistry and makes the subject attractive and fascinating and doable
June 30, 2009
Rated 5 out of 5
I found the Adventures With Atoms & Molecules very easy to use and they were refreshing compared to standard science textbooks We used this in conjuction with a good science encyclopedia and we kept a notebook with terms we learned and drawings along the way My boys love using these books finding each experiment entertaining and amazing The supplies for each experiment are common and easily obtainable I have used it as a stand alone curriculum as well as a supplement to an otherwise boring science book
February 13, 2007

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