July 7, 2016

Evan-Moor Daily Geography and Critical Thinking Activity Books {Product Review}

My first experience with Evan-Moor educational books was back when we were working in first grade with Little Britches. We were told about how awesome their Beginning Geography book was by more than one friend, so we gave it a try and loved it. I then used one of their Daily Word Problems for math books with great success. When Timberdoodle offered me the chance to review the Daily Geography Grade 4 and Critical & Creative 4 books from Evan-Moor, I jumped at the chance to try two other branches of their activity books with our family.
Evan-Moor Daily Geography and Critical & Creative Books~ A Product Review

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About the Product

The Daily Geography series picks up where the Beginning Geography ends. Because the Beginning Geography is for grades K/1, the Daily Geography starts with grade 1 and continues through grade 6. Each book is based on the eighteen National Geography Standards and is designed to support any geography and social studies curriculum that you might be using.

There are 36 weekly sections which contain a teacher page, map page, and question pages. 
The teacher page provides everything you need to know to work on the lesson for the week from the background information to introduce the skill, to vocabulary words, to the answer key. The map page illustrates the geography skills that have been introduced for the week and goes with the question pages. There are two geography questions for each day of the week and they increase in difficulty from Monday to Friday. There is also a challenge question at the end of the map which has them put to practice what they learned to the map page. Sometimes outside references are needed to complete it. 

The book also contains glossary pages for your students to use as an easy reference throughout the year. 

Timberdoodle carries Daily Geography grade 2-6 and they retail for $26.99 each. The books are consumable, but they are designed and approved to be reproducible, making them GREAT for using with multiple students at one time. Daily Geography 4 is also part of the Timberdoodle Curriculum Kit for 4th grade

The Critical & Creative books are perfect for helping your students engage in a broad range of thinking skills. There are 46 themes, each with a three page unit. Pages one and two of the unit encourage students to use a variety of thinking skills over the topic. Page three contains different formats like logic puzzles, riddles, and secret codes in which they can use their knew thinking skills. 

There are Critical & Creative books for grades 1-6+ that are grade appropriate in their difficulty and activities. 

Timberdoodle carries Critical & Creative 1 through 6+ and they retail for $19.99 each. As with the Daily Geography, these books are also reproducible. A bonus for using with more than one student.

We were given the 4th grade level in each series to work through with Little Britches.

Our Thoughts

Little Britches definitely enjoyed the Daily Geography book more than the Critical & Creative book, simply because he didn't have to "think" as hard. LOL. He's always loved geography, so he eagerly pulled out his book for his daily lesson which he always quickly completed in 10 minutes or less. He was very independent on it once we had done the initial lesson for the week and needed little assistance. Critical & Creative however, required me to sit near him to help him work through the different activities. Some of them he was able to get right away, and some things he needed me to help him get started. I would say he successfully completed 80% of it independently.
Working out a logic puzzle

Finishing the week's challenge geography question.

I definitely love both of these books. We have morning work every day school day which is just a collection of workbook like materials to get our brain started. These two books fit perfectly into that slot. I am always seeking out critical thinking materials, and really appreciated how the Critical & Creative was put together. I think there was a good balance of low and high brain power activities to be completed. It was definitely grade appropriate and I didn't think it was every too hard. 

Would I Recommend This Product?

I happily recommend both of these products to any one for home or classroom use. They are the perfect supplement to what you are already doing. I think one of my favorite aspects is the ability to reproduce this so that I can use it for multiple students at one time. That makes the price of each book even more reasonable. 
I am so glad that Timberdoodle gave me the opportunity to review both of these books! It reminded me again how much I enjoy their books and I plan on continuing to add them into our morning work. I probably will continue to look into especially the Critical & Creative books to help with building critical thinking skills in a quick manner. 
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