Saturday, December 12, 2015

Into the Unknown: Smithsonian Readers Endless Explorations Level 4

Most of the great pioneers of space flight were world-class daydreamers. Before a leap into space, there must come a great leap of the imagination.

Our exploration of space, in fact, began as a great nighttime daydream. We looked to the stars...

Young, newly independent readers are like explorers, moving out into a world of information and imagining what might be done with it, and that is the premise of Smithsonian Readers: Endless Explorations Level 4 (Smithsonian/Silver Dolphin Books, 2015). With a knowledge base and higher-level language skills, the sky's the limit for upper elementary students to follow their interests wherever they may lead.

This volume offers fascinating facts and photographs on a wide range of subjects, from the Hubble Space Telescope and Mars Rovers to the science of tsunamis and pandemics, the ways of desert tarantulas to the migrations of blue whales, from man's history of earth flight and space flight and into the deeps of the world's oceans and what can be found there.  Six sections--Predators, Space Exploration, Natural Disasters, World Wonders, Ocean Habitats, and the Science and History of Flight--take readers in the upper elementary grades into new places and areas of knowledge.

As in all the four volumes of this series, a glossary follows each section, summarizing the terms introduced in boldface within the text, as does a brief, self-checking quiz, and punch-out cards for review and games. Vocabulary and sentence structure are appropriate for readers approaching the middle-school levels in which reading for subject content requires structure and some sophistication in the learner.

Additional reinforcing kits are also available, such as the Smithsonian Magnetic Adventures: Solar System for hands-on activities.

As for that imagination, that's a do-it-yourself activity for the reader.  Bon voyage, kids! The sky's the limit!

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