I have not written that much about the Science resources that we are using probably because the Biology side seems to just happen very naturally – the kids are constantly learning about animal biology (they have just looked at the way digestion systems differ in different animals) and then often end up looking for comparisons to human and plant biology – somehow that side just seems to be one of the topics that is always on the go in our house. However I am trying to be a bit more structured with Science specifically when it comes to Chemistry and Physics just because I want to make sure we are covering those. So I have a few books around the house that I am using as my springboard for ideas and also making sure my facts are totally accurate and I am not missing out on explaining certain concepts. And one of the books that I am really enjoying using is the Activate 1 Student Book.
I just like the way it has been written. The book is divided into three sections – Biology, Chemistry and Physics. And each section is well presented in a logical manner with clear graphics (we like graphics that explain concepts). I feel like it covers everything but at the same time does not over complicate things.
Each double page ends with 3 summary questions – which is great for making sure everyone understands what was covered (although I must stress there are NO answers in this book – so you either need to be confident that you know what the answers would be or you possibly need the teacher’s guide). And then at the end of each chapter that is a Chapter Summary, a Big Write activity and then End of chapter questions (these end of chapter questions are very much styled on what kids could expect in tests and exams).
So what is covered in each of the three sections?
- Cells – plant verses animal cells, specialized cells, movement and unicellular organisms
- Structure and function of the body – Gas exchange, breathing, skeleton, joints and muscles
- Reproduction – in humans and plants
- Particles – the particle model, stats of matter, melting, freezing and boiling, diffusion and gas pressure
- Elements, Atoms and Compounds – including some chemical formulae
- Reactions – chemicals reactions, equations, burning fuels, thermal decomposition, exothermic and endothermic
- Acids and Alkalis – Indicators and PH, neutralisation and making salts
- Forces – squashing and stretching, drag forces and fiction, balanced and unbalanced
- Sound – Waves, sound transfer, loudness, detecting sound and echoes and ultrasound
- Light – Reflection, Refraction, the eye and camera and colour
- Space – The Night sky, the Solar system, Earth and the moon
I am finding this book is the right fit for us – the right amount of info, with good diagrams and just enough questions. We still work on our “projects” so we do tend to use the book for a while then have a break if we are doing a project and come back to it when we have finished our project and need some new direction. The Activate range does also have workbooks which look like they go with the student books but we have not tried the workbook so I can not comment on those. (Update – since writing this post we bought the Activate 1 Higher workbook and really liked it you can read about it here – Activate 1 Workbook)
I am planning on writing an update on all the Year 7 books we have used at the end of this Academic year but for now this Science book is ticking all the right boxes for us.
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