Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Critical Thinking Co. {Homeschool Crew Review}

Critical thinking skills are important for our kids to learn. This is one area in which SJ seems to really struggle. The Critical Thinking Co.™ has wonderful products for improving those critical thinking skills. SJ has been having fun with Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha, A Whodunnit Forensic Mystery the past few weeks. You see, we enjoy watching forensic mystery shows, such as NCIS: Los Angeles around here, so I thought this would be great for SJ.
Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha contains all the information you and your student will need to solve crimes at a couple different crime scenes. The first 20 pages or so in the book are instructions for the teacher. The next 20 pages are forensic evidence lessons, followed by crime scene reports and general forms, witness statements, forensic lab reports, ending with answer keys.

The pages are perforated, making it easy to pull them from the book so you can place them into a file folder as your student needs them. I had considered leaving them all in the book, but it was soon apparent that it was easier for SJ if I pulled them out.
To begin, I had SJ read through the forensic evidence lessons, which cover anthropology, arson, ballistics, counterfeit money, death investigation (entomology/autopsy), document and handwriting analysis, and fingerprints. I imagine he mostly skimmed, rather than actually reading/studying the information.

After that, we read through the case file introduction, then went over the crime scene report. Then SJ began filling out the investigation notes. He started with listing the physical evidence.
From there, he gathered testimonial evidence, from the witnesses, as well as various lab reports to go through, such as ballistics, fingerprints, and medical examiner.
I found it intriguing, seeing all the reports and files and such with which he had to work.
To be honest, I think this may be a bit above SJ's cognitive abilities, which means he probably needs this type of activity even more. Frankly, I think his sister and I probably would enjoy working on this more than he did.

In addition, I think Iwannafisha would be much better suited to a group of kids, or even a pair, rather than one child by himself. In the crime shows we like to watch, they work together as a team, so it seems reasonable to feel the need for a team to work together on Iwannafisha.

I would recommend working on this with a sibling group, or in a homeschool group or co-op, so you can have several people's perspective in solving these crimes. And you will be pleased to know that in spite of the fact that this crime includes a homicide, there are no graphic details provided in the files.

As an added bonus, check out these special deals:

Free Critical Thinking Puzzles!
A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!

Special Offer from CriticalThinking.com!
Free Shipping + 15% Off Any Size Order! Use Coupon Code: TOSCREW18. Expires 12/31/2018.

Connect with The Critical Thinking Co. via social media:

The Crew reviewed several different products: Understanding Pre-Algebra; Critical Thinking Detective Book 1; Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary; Dare to Compare Level 1; Vocabulary Riddles Book 1, in addition to Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha. To read reviews about all of these, simply click the banner below.
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

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