Hands-On Standards Science & WorldScapes Dinosaur Discoveries Review

Our Fossils & Dinosaur Event has been so fun this week but I wanted to make sure that I brought some application into the classroom (or school lesson) for teachers and students. You guys know I’m just nuts about science and have spent most of my life obsessed with something science-related. And now that my husband is a principal I always have my eye out for good curriculum. Recently ETA hand2mind sent us their Hands-On Standards SCIENCE (Grades 4-5) Deluxe Edition as well as their WorldScapes Dinosaur Discoveries. I made sure to include my husband’s thoughts on these as well as he always looks for specific things.

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The first HUGE plus in the Hands-On Standards Science book is that EACH section comes with Black Line Masters. If you’re a teacher you know this is a HUGE benefit when ordering a curriculum! Plus it also comes with a corresponding DVD. My personal favorite thing about this guide because I’m a visual learner is that it is a photo-illustrated AND hands-on learning guide. And really this Deluxe Edition is so simple to use it’s almost like a “dummy guide” – not in a bad way of course! See what I mean:

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In each section you can immediately reference just about anything you need just from the side of the page. It tells you how it applies to NSE, the objective, vocabulary, materials needed and what pages the blackline masters are on.

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Each step of the hands-on projects have easy illustration photos posted which is great. I love that you can see each lesson with a quick glance before you even read the page.

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Each Standard is color-coded by the tabs on the side of the book.

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And this may sound really silly or petty but do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have a teacher’s book with spirals and it NOT close completely both ways? Do you know what I’m talking about? This Hands-On Standards Science book DOES close both ways so that you can fold the cover front to back and not get hung up in the spirals. Just saying…..

Overall – it’s a phenomenal product. My husband loved it and even noted that this would be the perfect book for homeschooling families as well. You don’t get lost in the “teacher mumbo jumbo” and everything is very clear cut and simple to use.

NEXT we spent some time with our kids reading through the WorldScapes Canada Dinosaur Discoveries. The interesting thing about the WorldScapes series is that ETA hand2mind offers a HUGE variety of subjects labeled under specific countries. The Dinosaur Discoveries is under Canada and comes in a 6 pack set. You can purchase sets that are combined by specific subject area OR specific country, and of course individually. These are VERY kid-friendly and full of bold illustrations and easy to read charts and facts.

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Here is one of the charts comparing Herbivores to Carnivores.


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One thing I really appreciated about this book other than the awesome eye-catching illustrations is that each illustration actually tells you what the illustration is about! That sounds simple enough – but do you have any idea how many books we read or look at that have an awesome photo or illustration, but I have NO idea what species the animal is or what location the photo is taken in? The details about the illustration show above are very specific about Deinonychuses and Tenontosauruses.

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The Dinosaur Discovery book also covers from ancient to current. So many books JUST show ancient dinosaurs and that’s it, but this one carries it even further. By the end of the book there is a section on CURRENT dinosaur discoveries and research.

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Overall – these are very simple and fairly short books but great quality and nicely done. I love how they laid out the book and it’s not a huge overwhelming book for students. Everything is properly detailed and labeled and the diagrams are all eye-catching. You can see above how not only did they list the tools used to dig for dinosaurs but there is an illustration of each tool used.

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Here is just a photo so you can see the WorldScapes Canada that the Dinosaur Discoveries falls under.

My husband and I were both very impressed with both sets of books that ETA hand2mind sent us. My husband especially was excited to check it out because he has just had piles of curriculums coming through his office that he has been going through and he really liked both of these. He loved the Deluxe Edition because it is SO simple to use, follows strictly to the standards and common core and includes the project ideas to go with each lesson. And he also really liked the WorldScapes series because you can purchase just the set of books that you want for a specific lesson as opposed to purchasing an entire program. It covers a wide range of topics and is very detailed in it’s illustrations and information.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I received the above products to use in order to form my own opinions. All opinions are my own.

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