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Friday, March 13, 2015

TOS Review: The Critical Thinking Co World History Detective

Critical Thinking Company Review
I was thrilled to get a chance to review World History Detective Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co.

If you are not already familiar with The Critical Thinking Co., you are in for a treat to discover all that this company offers. Through use of workbooks and other products, they get students thinking. The company has been publishing products that have been improving students' test scores and academic grades since 1958. The idea behind it all is to not just feed learners a bunch of facts and figures, but to teach students how to think instead of merely what to think.

In brief: Critical Thinking Skills

Identify evidence
Evaluate evidence
Draw inferences and conclusions

What is World History Detective Book 1?

Critical Thinking Company Review
It is a thick, 362-page glossy paperback workbook style of book. Inside, there are 78 lessons that covers Ancient and Medieval Civilizations, from Scientists and Dating of History to The Northwest Coastal, Subarctic, and Arctic Tribes.

Each lesson is about one to two pages worth of reading, and the reading is not just one big huge blob of text. All of the reading text is marked by paragraphs (using alphabet letters) and sentences (using numbers). At the bottom of most of the lessons, there are timelines and some include maps or black and white diagram style pictures.

At the end of each lesson, there are a series of questions, mostly multiple choice but also some word box diagrams or essay questions.

The book is recommended for Grades 6-12+, but all of the material has been written to meet the 6th and 7th grade common state standards. Though, the book also uses short essay style questions that are a style that is typically part of college level or AP level classes.

The back pages of the book contain the answers to all of the chapter questions.

How Did We Use It?



Since the book is recommended for children in Grades 6-12, I was excited and had every intention of using this with my 9th Grade son. He is very logical but could stand to gain a better grasp of overall world history, so I thought this book would be right up his alley. However, when the book arrived, my 7th grade daughter intercepted it and begged to use it. So, I went with the flexibility of homeschooling and allowed her to help me with the review instead of my son.

The contents of the book are rich enough that this could be used as a stand-alone curriculum workbook text for history, but since my daughter is already almost done with her current history course, we used it as more of a supplement.

What Did We Think?

My daughter had used some Critical Thinking books from The Critical Thinking Co. years ago, in elementary school. She absolutely loved them. She immediately went to town to add this book into her daily studies as well.

She loves workbook formats, so the work pages were perfect for her. I love how the Critical Thinking Company helps train students' brains to think and problem solve.

She really liked how the book challenged her to remember facts with each lesson. She also loved the word box diagrams and how there was a test-like format at the end of each lesson. She especially liked how some of it let her use her own words to describe what she had learned. She also loved the essay portion because she was able to write what she thought.

Find Critical Thinking books and other products on FacebookGoogle+Twitter, and Pinterest.

Some of the other products the TOS Review Crew got to try from The Critical Thinking Co., include:
Alphabet Song Game (Pre-K to Grade 1)
Math Analogies Beginning (Grade K-1)
Math Analogies Level 1 (Grade 2-3)
Math Analogies Level 2 (Grade 4-5)
Editor in Chief Level 1 (Grade 4-5)
Editor in Chief Level 2 (Grade 6-8)
Pattern Explorer (Grade 5-7)

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Critical Thinking Company Review
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