Hands-on Science!


Yes, please!  I wish every concept of science could be taught through hands-on activities.  I retain what I learn, so much better, and therefore, I’m able to teach it better!  When I present it well, and my students get their hands on it, their minds seem to follow and stick with it much easier.

Take the instruction from AIMS Education Foundation, for instance.


Click the graphic to read The Story of AIMS as told by the founder.


AIMS is an acronym for Activities Integrating Mathematics and Science.  They’ve been around since 1981.  Their goal is to integrate science, mathematics, language arts, social studies, etc., just as they are integrally connected in the real world, and this makes AIMS products effective.  We recently had the opportunity to use and review Earth Rocks!.


Click graphic to see PDF formatted preview pages.

More than 300 pages, covering 50 lessons and hands-on activities.  Students explore soil, rocks and minerals (noting that there is, indeed, a difference in the two,) the water cycle, weather, and erosion.  They identify and classify renewable and non-renewable resources, and spend time discussing pollution and solutions.  The book is large, regular 8 1/2″ X 11″ black and white printed pages, bound between a high-gloss, paper back cover.  The content is written for grades 4-5, but I found it adaptable to younger and older ages, with little extra effort.  The book is non-consumable, but many pages must be copied/printed for use by a student.  Earth Rocks! can be purchased for $29.95.  It is also available, in its entirety, in downloadable PDF version, for the same price.

AIMS Education Foundation has many Activity Books, Lab Kits, Components, and Resources available.  Their Rock and Mineral Set, for $24.95, is a great resource for Earth Science, and Earth Rocks!.  The books can be used in any order, and together could fulfill requirements for a full curriculum.  For us, they are outstanding supplements to our Science or Math curriculum.

We did not work through Earth Rocks! in a specific order.  This week, April 10, 2012, was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic.  Earth Rocks! has a lesson on Ice Sculptures.  The topic is Glaciers.  Timely, yes?  Every lesson includes Key Questions, a Learning Goal, Guiding Documents, Science, Integrated Processes, Materials needed, Background Information, the Management and Procedure of the lesson and activities, Connecting Learning and Extensions.  The students make a glacier, which was our tie-in to the history of The Titanic, but the lesson rolled us right into how glaciers create valleys, and change the surface of the Earth.  Great information; well organized hands-on activities make AIMS a welcome resource!  Earth Rocks!, in itself,  gives us nearly a year of one-a-week supplemental science lessons.

My TOS crew mates reviewed several different Activity Books; so, you’ll want to click the graphic below, and follow the link to read their blog posts.





Disclaimer*  A copy of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.





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  1. Amy B says:

    Hi Penney, Thanks for checking out my blog from my post on the homeschoolcrew forum. I appreciate you taking the time to do that. Every time someone posts whose blog name I don’t recognize I hop over to their blog and make sure I am following them. Lo and behold, I wasn’t following you! Rectified that :).

    AMy B

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