Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. is proud to present the fourth book in its Young Explorer Series. This elementary-level science curriculum used the Charlotte Mason methodology to give elementary school students an introduction to the incredible world of the swimming animals.
The book begins with a lesson on the general features of aquatic animals and the characteristics of their most common habitat: the ocean. It then spends two lessons discussing aquatic mammals like whales and seals. The next two lessons cover the aquatic amphibians and reptiles - the ones that are currently living as well as those that scientists think have gone extinct. Two lessons on fish follow, and then the student gets introduced to the amazing animals called crustaceans and mollusks. Then, the student starts studying the strange animals called cephalopods (like octopuses), cnidarians (like jellyfish), and echinoderms (like starfish). Finally, the student learns about some of the lesser-known animals in the ocean, like sponges and tubeworms.
As you might expect from a book that uses the Charlotte Mason approach, the student notebook is emphasized in every lesson. Students are told to make illustrations for each lesson and are given notebook assignments to reinforce what they have learned. Notebook assignments include collecting pictures of whales and identifying them as toothed or baleen whales, writing an opinion piece on whether or not people should be allowed to pet manatees, writing a story about an amphibian meeting a reptile, making Venn diagrams to compare animals, writing a speech on how to avoid shark bites, and designing the ideal fish.
The activities and projects use easy-to-find household items and truly make the lessons come alive! They include making and wearing blubber to see how well it insulates, comparing the densities of cold and hot water, seeing the effect of temperature on tadpole development and fish activity, seeing how electricity is conducted in water, and raising sea monkeys or triops. Most importantly of course, a creationist world view is stressed throughout. Time and time again, God is glorified as the Master Creator of all that the student is studying.
This course on aquatic animals follows the first book in the series, Exploring Creation With Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. It is highly recommended that you begin your study of zoology with Zoology 1 (or at least read the first chapter, available for free online). This is because foundational concepts, such as animal classification, nomenclature, instincts, endangered species, parasites, and other important ideas are explained in the first book. Attainment of this knowledge is assumed in Zoology 2. However, if zoology has been covered to some degree, and parents feel that they are equipped to fill in the gaps where this information is mentioned without explanation in Zoology 2, they are welcome to begin with whichever book they prefer.
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