June 5, 2018

Dive into CSI to Solve the Mystery at Lake Iwannafisha with The Critical Thinking Co.™ {Product Review}

The Critical Thinking Co {product review}
One of my most favorite companies for logic and critical thinking resources is the award winning The Critical Thinking Co.™. We have used several of their products in the past with great success (read my review of Sentence Diagramming or my review of The Basics of Critical Thinking), so when we had the opportunity to pick another book to review, I said yes to Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha, a Whodunit Forensic Mystery!

About The Critical Thinking Co.™ and the Product

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is an award winning company dedicate to providing quality materials throughout all the subjects which encourage critical thinking right from the early stages of learning. They are especially known for their award winning logic and critical thinking products, although they produce many materials for other subjects as well.

Some of the books include:

Understanding Pre-Algebra
Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 
Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha
Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary
Dare to Compare Level 1
Vocabulary Riddles Book 1

Wanna try out a product for free? You can get Free Critical Thinking Puzzles! A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now! 

We were given Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha to review with my oldest (age 12).

Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha is a critical thinking book geared for grades 5-12+ and can be used in a classroom or at an individual level. The students can work in groups or individually to solve this fun and engaging crime mystery. The students start by learning about different aspects of studying forensic evidence, including anthropology, counterfeiting, fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, ballistics and more. Once the lessons are over, the students will use witnesses' statements, police reports, and forensic lab reports to work through the information to solve the crime using critical thinking and their new forensic knowledge. Designed to be much like a real CSI, they will have to use logic to make inferences and tie up all their loose ends for the case.

Our Thoughts on the Product

My son is twelve and he LOVES watching crime shows with his Papaw. We watch several of them at home too, so there is a definite interest in forensics and CSI. When I explained that this was a case that he was going to have to use forensic evidence to solve, he was thrilled.

As soon as I received the materials, I discovered that while the book was consumable with tear out pages, there was also a link where I could PRINT off any copies I needed for the pages inside the book. I decided to get a folder with binder tabs and let him use it for his "case file". Going this route allowed me to keep everything together much easier. I was very grateful for the notes at the beginning of the book for the teacher about how the process was supposed to work, and when to give what. There was also a checklist included where I could check off the different documents as I handed them out. The goal is for all the documents to get into the hands of my student, even if I sort of have to step in to make it happen.

The goal is for my son remember his forensic evidence lessons and use them as his guide of what to ask for in order to solve the crimes that were committed.

He loved the idea of me acting as his superior officer/secretary. We role played and I had different voices too. He also got into it and sat with "coffee" to go over his case file. He would say "Miss Secretary, did we get the reports from ___________?" or "Excuse me, but can you call ____________ and ask for the reports we need on _____________".
Filling out his paperwork
The moment when he finds KEY evidence linking people to the crime were my favorite moments. He got so excited about it. By the time we were almost done, he was telling everyone about this crime he was solving and then would share how his case was going. His Papaw especially got a kick out of it since they watch crime shows together.

I am happy to say that using logic and critical thinking, he was able "charge" the correct people for the different crimes which were committed in this case. Although he experienced much frustration that one of his people couldn't be found. LOL. I explained that this was part of the case and was typical for a lot of crimes in real life too.

This was definitely a winner for us. He ASKED to work on it and he spent good time on it. He completed all the paperwork and loved talking about his hypothesis. He was so protective of his "case file" that he got on his little brother for trying to look at it. LOL. I would definitely recommend this for any classroom setting--ESPECIALLY a co-op. I think a co-op would have a lot of fun with it. If we had more children at home, it would be fun to put them in a group to solve the case. This was definitely a win--and now he has even MORE love for forensics. He even smiles when they refer to ballistic reports. or fingerprints. or BOLO's on TV. He knows what that means now. :)

Negative--just the papers. It seems like we had papers coming out our ears! I definitely didn't print a copy of everything--mostly the ones he had to fill in himself. There was a lot that was just for reading. BUT I was only supposed to hand him what he asked for. So I couldn't just HAND him the book. It would be helpful if this book had an insert with just the consumable pages that could be handed to the students.

Want to Know More?

Over the last several weeks, we have been working through Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha from The Critical Thinking Co.™. Our review team has gone through several other books from the company, so make sure you pop over to see what other team members thought of their products!
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
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I am happy to share that The Critical Thinking Co.™ is offering FREE SHIPPING and 15% off of any order for my readers! Simply use the code: TOSCREW18 at checkout! (good through 12/31/2018) I highly recommend all of their products, so I hope you will take advantage of this delightful offer!!

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