A Reading, Writing, and Social Studies Program Using Informational Text
Take students on incredible journeys through 12 countries and six continents. Each book covers topics such as location, climate, physical features, cities, industry, food and drink, festivals and celebrations, thus teaching students about geography in spatial, physical, and human terms.
Students are naturally curious about other people—where they live, how they dress, what they eat, and what they do for entertainment. Struggling readers as well as fluent readers are motivated to learn.Complete kit contains:
Reviewed By: Mark Stinson (El Paso, Texas)
This is a very attractive set which can be used for both Social Studies and for Reading. The review is strictly from a Social Studies perspective, though, since this is how TCM classifies it. The series is more focused on culture and geography and is very light on government, economics and history (as in almost non-existent). It should be approached more as Reading and Language Arts activities with Social Studies content rather than as Social Studies. The books are good supplemental materials and should work very well in a self-contained environment; not so well, perhaps, in a single-content Social Studies classroom, but definitely worth a look.
Each book in the series is well-written and visually appealing and should hold student interest. Appeal for high school students will likely be limited, but they should work with English Language Learners. The claim of up-to-date information is a bit misleading, since most are at least six years old, but this is nothing that cannot be corrected by a quick visit to Wikipedia or the CIA World Fact Book. After having read through half of the books, each typically contains at least one glaring factual error, but they are minor when taken in the context of the whole and can be worked around. There seems to be an undue emphasis on environmental issues, so teachers may want to keep this in mind. Unlike other programs from TCM ("World Cultures Through Time," for example), student books are not included on the resource CD, so teachers will need to either need to have sufficient copies or access to an overhead of some sort. Each book contains a variety of activities which should appeal to different student interests and learning styles. Each book contains 12-20 suggested supplemental student activities. Most will require access to the Internet and/or to a well-stocked library. For Social Studies, there are four worksheet-type activities for each book, plus a short post-test.