Reviewed by Thomas Brown
This is an excellent new book that allows high school chemistry teachers to enrich their classes using simple, yet thoughtful, inquiry activities to reinforce key concepts. The book presents a wide variety of activities that can be used to strengthen student critical thinking skills using simple, everyday materials. The many activities are designed to allow students to explore essential chemistry concepts outside of the classroom in order to further enrich the instruction that takes place at school.
The author opens the book by providing an overview of the value of using these activities based on research as well as providing the teacher with a complete list of materials needed and tips for making the most of each activity. The book is designed to allow it to be utilized by any teacher, experienced or novice. The introduction and complete directions also make it appropriate for home–schoolers. Each activity includes a teacher and student section. The teacher section provides an overview of the activity that lists objectives, purposes, safety concerns, as well as the answers from the specific student activity. The student section not only leads students through the activity but also provides essential safety information, which is important since these labs will be done at home. Each activity begins by asking a focusing question to get students started. The procedures are simple and formatted to make copying easy. One of the strengths of the book is that each of the sections provides activities that could be used together or independently of each other.
This book could be a superb resource for a chemistry teacher looking for opportunities to help their students understand essential chemistry concepts outside the classroom. These activities can also help students to have a bit of fun in their chemistry class while seeing how chemistry can be found all around them, especially at home.
Review posted on 4/25/2012