The Critical Thinking Company is known for their over 150 award winning books and software. They have been around since 1958 and our family owned.
Their mission statement:
The Critical Thinking Co.™ is committed to developing students' critical thinking skills for better grades, higher test scores, and success in life. We do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests—we empower the mind!
The Schoolhouse review crew was offered many choices on what to review. We chose to review World History Detective Book 1.
World History Detective Book 1 is for grades 6-12. It is 361 pages long and can be used multiple ways. This could be a stand alone history curriculum. It can be used to supplement a social studies curriculum, or it can even just be used as a review/ refresher for older students. This book is on Ancient and Medieval Civilizations.
The way this book works is very “work booky” (That’s totally a word!).
Let’s use lesson 31 for our example. This lesson is on Daily Life in the Roman Empire.
They would read 9 paragraphs and then answer 9 multiple choice questions. To answer the multiple choice questions, you would choose the best answer and then after to write which sentence (the sentences are numbered) best supported your answer. Followed by writing a short essay answering the question “What were the positive and negative aspects of life during the Roman Empire? using complete sentences. Then they would complete a concept map. This looks like a flow chart to me.
You can take a peek inside this book here. World History Detective Book 1 has won 3 awards already.
A day/week in our life:
I used this with my 15 year old daughter who hates history. She doesn’t like the way history “takes so long to learn” (her words). I figured that a simple workbook with no extra fluff, like projects and research would be good for her. I was right! She still dislikes history, but she loves solving problems and this book has been a great balance between the two. She would complete about 3 lessons a week in this book. Lessons took her about 30-45 minutes. The reading isn’t to long and it’s to the point, while still requiring you to think. This was troublesome for her in the beginning, she just wanted to be able to copy the answer from the reading. After about 2 weeks of using this she caught on that it was more than learning history, that she was required to actually think.
My thoughts and opinions:
It’s too often in our home that the work is too easy. Using this book showed me that my daughter can think for herself and decipher clues to come up with an answer. After about 2 weeks she began to enjoy this. She looked at it less about learning history and more about finding clues. She said that history is still not her favorite subject but it’s “not so bad” this way. She likes that she can just get it done. I like that she uses her reading comprehension and writing skills at the same time. I also love that this book is self-directed. She only needs me to look over her answers.
The Critical Thinking Company can be found all over social media. Check them out.