Monday, July 15, 2013

Amazing World Records of Weather~ A Product Review

There are many aspects of blogging that I enjoy.  Blogging helps me to process ideas, collaborate and network with teachers and parents around the world, and it offers a cathartic release that I often can only achieve through writing.  Another part of blogging that I really enjoy is writing product reviews.  I was contacted by Educents to review Sunflower Education's Amazing World Records of Weather.  This product caught my eye because my two young sons are fascinated and intrigued with anything that is weather-related, and many, many of my previous students were as well.

** I received a complimentary copy of the PDF version for the purpose of reviewing this product on my blog.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

What Did I Receive?
I received a PDF form of the (105) page resource book,  Amazing World Records of Weather. This product is part of The Amazing World Records of Science and Technology published by Sunflower Education.


A Little Background Information
This resource is available in PDF form and in hard copy book form. Other books in this series include topics for geography, history, language and literature, and science and technology.  Using students' natural interest in world records, this nonfiction resource includes (20) lesson plans with (60) reproducible activity sheets.  This product is appropriate for classroom teachers and homeschool parents to use as a supplementary text for their science instruction in grades 5 to 9:  "Uses kids' natural fascination with world records to reach them and teach them" (Sunflower Education).

  • Recommended by the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association)
  • Designed for students in grades 5-9
  • Teaches key concepts about weather and meteorology:  includes (20) world records of weather
  • Written and created by teachers, parents, and educational publishing experts.  Tested in classrooms and homeschools
  • Includes explicit, detailed lesson plans, suggestions, and teaching tips for instruction
  • Includes enrichment and extension activities such as simple, yet informative science experiments
  • Includes intriguing topics such as the world's hottest place, the heaviest hail, and the world's worst tornado
  • Four sections of content are included:  Hot and Cold, Air Pressure, Precipitation, and Weather Disasters
  • The world record grabs students' attention, and follow-up activities provide vital learning

Amazing World Records of Weather: 20 Innovative, Easy-to-Integrate Lesson Plans Teach Key Concepts and Motivate All Students!

 My Review

 I found the lesson plans to be concise, yet well-written with clear learning objectives, a time frame, and special materials needed to implement the lesson.  As well, there are teacher-tips included to clarify the lesson directions.  Lessons include related projects for students to make such as a rain gauge, a weather vane, or a simple experiment to create a vortex in a plastic bottle.  These hands-on projects help students to apply their knowledge from the readings.  However, I did find that although a supply list and a diagram is included for each project, more detailed directions could have been included for the projects.

The reproducibles are professionally designed and easy to read. The activity pages for students include short informational reading passages that include a reading purpose (e.g. "Read the article below to discover how tornadoes form"). Many text features are built into the reading pages such as maps, illustrations, black and white photographs, captions, charts, and fact boxes.  These readings would make for a great way to introduce nonfiction text features or to have students complete individually to apply their strategic reading knowledge.

A few other things that I noticed and really liked:
  • The reproducibles can be copied for use in a single teacher's classroom
  • A great time saver, as the activities integrate reading/language arts and science (and sometimes a little math as well).
  • Flexible lessons that can be used to differentiate instruction, can be used whole-class, in small groups, in nonfiction literacy circles, in Guided Reading groups.
  • Promotes cooperative learning, as many of the readings and activities can be completed as a group.
  • The questions after reading offer a variety of "right there" questions with explicit answers and other questions that are more implicit and require students to compare and contrast, make text connections, sketch and visualize, define Tier III vocabulary words, among just a few.
  • Questions require a written response in a brief constructed response format ( no selected response).
  • Short text passages will appeal to reluctant readers in that they will not be overwhelmed with a large amount of text. In addition, they make a great supplement to your science curriculum.
  • Topics are very interesting and should provide a "hook" for all readers to want to read more.
  • The lessons are aligned to some national standards (science and reading/language arts).  Although they are not explicitly aligned to Common Core State Standards, I found this correlation when I examined the "World's Worst Tornado" lesson:
Reading Informational Text (Grade 5):  RI.5.3, RI.5.4, RI.5.8

In short, the resource I reviewed is an extremely well-written, organized, and appealing product for both students and teachers.  You can see other books in this series and grab an incredible deal from Educents!   All of the books ( geography, history, language and literature, and science and technology)  will be offered as a bundle on Educents starting today and going through the 25th. The PDF's will be offered at 50% OFF ($42.50) and the shipped hard copy books will be offered at 30%OFF ($59 with free shipping).

Click the picture below to grab your deal!  Enjoy!

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  1. These are really great books! I reviewed the Science and Technology one and really liked the set up!

    Reading Toward the Stars

    1. I agree! I'll have to hop on over to your blog to read your review. :-)


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