Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Expanding Our Knowledge of God's Creation with Unit Studies from Creation Illustrated {A TOS Review}

It is so important to me that the children learn from a Biblical worldview. I want them to see God's hand in this world we live in. That is becoming increasingly difficult in this day and age, when so many available resources teach from an evolutionary and secular worldview. So, when I find a resource such as Creation Illustrated, I get quite excited. I'm not exactly sure how this magazine stayed under my radar all these years (they've been publishing since 1993), but now that I have discovered them I am excited to get my hands on more of their materials. You see, they also publish Unit Studies with subjects that focus on articles in the magazines. As a member of the Homeschool Review Crew I was given digital copies of two of these unit studies.

I received both the Snow Unit Study and Pine Trees, along with the magazines that include the relevant articles. These articles are a small fraction of what is available in each magazine. There are three sections that look at creation, first in nature, then in Scripture, and finally in living. These magazines are chock-full of God-honoring articles and breathtaking pictures. In addition to these articles, you will find sections on Creation Highlights, Creation Stewardship, recipes, a character-building lesson, family fun activities, and a study guide. Plus there are coloring, photography, and poetry contests.

We focused our time on the Intricacies of Snow Unit Study.

The Winter '18 Digital Edition contains the article titled "The Intricacy of Snow" by Brandy Dixon. 

A reader of the digital edition of the magazine can click on the ad for the Snow Unit Study that appears after the article in order to purchase it. If you have the unit study, there is a link to the magazine as one of the resources at the beginning of the study.  

I received this 17-page Snow Unit Study as a PDF file. It is primarily meant for children in grades 5-8, but it states that "valuable lessons can be gained by everyone." Yes, I did include all four of my children in this study, but I didn't expect the younger children to complete all the lessons.

The unit study begins with a list of links for both reading resources and videos to view on the subject of snow. One of the links is to the Winter edition of Creation Illustrated, as mentioned above. You could also order a print copy or subscribe. The information found at these links will help the child(ren) answer the questions in the different sections of the unit study. 

There are lessons on the following subjects:
  • Writing & Penmanship
  • Vocabulary & Spelling
  • Bible Study
  • Science 
  • Math
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Puzzle & Activities
Plus there is an answer key and a list of suggested books to read.

The first thing I did was read the "Intricacies of Snow" magazine article to the children. Then we watched some videos before working on the lessons. 

You could print out the entire unit study, but it is most definitely possible to only print out some sections if you desire to save on ink. For instance, with the writing section, I didn't need to print out the instructions, I just read them to the girls. They were to write an essay about snow. Amelia wasn't too thrilled with this concept, so I just had Tabitha work on it for now.

For the vocabulary and spelling, I had the girls write the correct words in their notebooks as I read the definitions, then I chose half of the words for their spelling list. During the week I gave them different exercises to do with the words to practice their spelling.

I did print out the science, math, geography, and art pages. 

The children gathered around the computer or the coffee table, and we went through the science questions, searching for the answers in the reading selections. The majority of the information could be found in the magazine article, but we did need to search some of the other sites as well.

I had the younger children listening to the lesson, and answering some of the questions, but it was a bit too much writing for them to complete it all. I was happy that they were able to complete some of it, seeing as they are quite a bit younger than the target age range. The other activity I had them try was the word find, but even that was a bit tricky for them. 

I will say, this was also tricky for the older girls, but mainly because one word is not in the puzzle. "White" is actually spelled with two H's, but that is the one we circled because there was no other option.

The math sheet contained snow-related word problems, some of these were even a bit difficult for Tabitha. Then I wasn't sure if these were topics she should have covered already, or if they were just meant for older children, as she is on the low end of the range. I figured it was a great way to introduce her to new math concepts, though that meant mommy needed to brush up on them herself. 

The older girls seemed to enjoy the geography sheet, where they had to use the key to find the different levels of snowfall on the earth.

But everyone's favorite activity was making Borax Snowflakes.

For the Bible Study section I would read some verses and then we had to figure out if the word "snow' was being used literally or symbolically. Mommy was very thankful for the answer key, because sometimes I wasn't quite sure. The one thing we haven't gotten to yet is the spiritual lessons learned from snow. This was something we read in the "Intricacies of Snow" article (twice actually), but there is a page to fill out as well. I have to say, I love the way Biblical truths were woven into the article. For instance, we read about snowflakes being unique, and then we were to connect that to each of us being unique. Additionally, like a snowflake, we start with a speck of dirt but through different conditions can be transformed into a lovely work of art. That is only a small sample of the different spiritual lessons that were drawn from snow.

Art was the last subject the children worked on. They were to draw different snowflake shapes.

I was quite impressed with this unit study. The article itself was amazing, and filled with snow facts and spiritual insights. The publishers did a wonderful job creating a unit study for children to dig into these facts and expand their knowledge. I love that we got to touch on so many subjects.

We are currently on our no-school week, so we haven't had a chance to start the Pine Trees study yet. However, I have looked it over, and it looks just as amazing as the Snow study. 

I received the Fall '17 Digital Edition of the Creation Illustrated magazine to facilitate this study. 

As with the Snow Unit Study, there is a link to the magazine in the reading resources section of the Pine Trees Unit Study.

The Pine Trees unit study contains the same subjects as the Snow study. The magazine article is titled, "The Enduring Pine Tree." We will be looking into such topics as the history of the word "Pine," the distribution of different pine trees around the world, pine tree identification, and scientific classification. There is also art and a word find to look forward to again. Unlike the snow study, there isn't a hands on science activity. 

If you would like more detailed information about the Pine Tree study, you can check out the reviews of some of my fellow Crew Mates. Some of us focused more on the Snow study, while others focused on the Pine Trees study. 

Also, if you are interested in the Creation Illustrated magazine, they do sell back copies, and for those that are sold out, they will be making them available digitally. Additionally, the Spring '18 edition is now available.

The topic for the unit study will be "butterflies," though it is not yet available.

There are several other unit studies available though, and they are 30% off. In addition, Creation Illustrated sells books and DVDs. 

You can find Creation Illustrated on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about these wonderful unit studies.

Creation Illustrated Unit Studies {Creation Illustrated Reviews}
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