Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Critical Thinking Co. World History Detective Book 1 Review

The Critical Thinking Co. World History Detective Book 1 (Gr. 6-12+)
I had the privilege of testing out the World History Detective Book 1 (Gr. 6-12+) for The Critical Thinking Co. free for this review. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

The Critical Thinking Co. has award winning products that help students of all abilities achieve higher academic results with lessons that develop and sharpen their critical thinking skills. They have fun and easy to use products with lessons in standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history that are guaranteed to produce better grades and higher test scores. Critical thinking is: identifying, analyzing, defining, evaluating, examining, reasoning, questioning, and challenging evidence to guide decision making and problem solving in a manner which is clear, rational, and open minded. A good acronym for the main keys of Critical Thinking are to think RED: Recognize Assumptions, Evaluate Information, Draw Conclusions.

The World History Detective Book 1 is geared for grades 6-12+. It is a softcover workbook and textbook in one with 362 perforated pages so you can tear them out cleanly, if needed. This workbook covers Prehistory, Ancient Civilizations, Medieval Civilizations, and Early American Civilizations for a total of 78 lessons. The lessons include maps, charts, timelines, line drawings and black and white photos to help the student with visualization. Students develop critical thinking skills in doing history with reading comprehension and writing skills. Each lesson as a passage to read and then questions about the reading follow. It has multiple choice, short answer, and some short essay questions. The sentences of each lesson are numbered and the students are asked which sentence best supports the answer. It also has a answer key at the back of the book for easy grading.

Jaedan working in the World History Detective Book 1 (Gr. 6-12+)

I had my son Jaedan, who is 12 and in 7th grade work through the book three times per week. I took the answers out so I could grade his answers easier. We had not ever used The Critical Thinking Co. books before, so this was certainly a treat. He enjoyed learning some new things about history and getting some review of others. We started on the Greek History lessons, which were more in the middle of the book, because that is his favorite and I wanted him to get the hang of how the book worked better with stuff that he might have already knew. It is easy to skip around in the workbook because the lessons are all self contained. The reading is about 2 pages per lesson with questions that follow. Jaedan devours about a thick chapter book per day, so this reading was easy for him. This book made him use deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills just like a detective to figure out his answers. The answers were not spelled out to him like in other textbooks we have encountered. Since he was having to think more he seemed to like this history book a lot more because he was being challenged, although; it still made him frustrated at times.  I am glad that this workbook had essay questions as well because my son needs to work on his essay writing skills. Jaedan loves history and is on the History Bowl this year, so I thought that he might like a challenge. I am glad that my son enjoys the workbook!

The World History Detective Book 1 is wonderful! My son and I love the workbook. We are glad we got the chance to add it to our curriculum this year! The many maps, charts, and timelines are a great addition to the reading and questions. We love that it also creates a positive challenge to learning history by making children better problem-solvers. It is great to use as a standalone curriculum for World History or as a supplement with other history lessons.

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