Brainfood Learning – Insects (review)
On yet another hot summer day, sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up inside a darkened room with some cool drinks and ripe watermelon, and watching the latest video you brought home… and with the educational DVDs from Brainfood Learning, it can even be educational!
My kids aren’t youngsters anymore, with my “baby” girl now in middle school, and to listen to them, you’d think they knew all about insects – enough, at least, that they didn’t expect to learn anything new when we settled in to watch the Fascinating World of Insects. Myself, I’d mistakenly assumed that it would be pretty basic, if well presented.
Oh was I ever wrong…
Within moments, however, we were quite impressed – this Fascinating World kept us riveted indeed. It’s safe to say that none of us had ever suspected that ladybugs came in *that* color… and the revelation was accompanied by actual audible gasps from my kiddos. Now, my ladybug collector/admirers want one. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. :)
While, yes, some common insect knowledge was covered, Brainfood Learning has gone all out to make sure that this video is “fascinating” for all ages. By introducing a varietyof common insects, the Fascinating World of Insects appeals to the youngest viewers who might not even know their names. With the addition of advanced topics such as metamorphosis and the difference between the types of light emitted by a lightbulb and a firefly, plus unique (and sometimes bizarre) features of insect, Brainfood entrances older children and even adults.
At the close of the video, watchers are treated to a review & quiz. It begins quite simply, with just video “flash cards” of the insects and their names, but proceeds through five levels of increasing difficulty, with the final quiz questions requiring either strong prior knowledge or actively acquiring information from the video.
A lesson plan with activities and worksheets included has been recently made available for free from Brainfood Learning; it’s downloaded via their curriculum page. Intended for elementary school students, there are approximately five days worth of lessons that use reading, writing, and science skills.
The insects featured in the Fascinating World of Insects are ant, butterfly, dragonfly, firefly, grasshopper, honeybee, ladybug, mosquito, praying mantis, rhino beetle, and water strider.
What We Thought About The Fascinating World of Insects
It has a high level of appeal for all ages, and the kids have asked for the other titles in the series, Birds and Mammals. With close-up visuals and professional quality, this is a title that would be excellent for a homeschool library – or in the local public library.
We think the style it was presented in would work well for a variety of topics, not just science, and we’d like to see the series expanded beyond its current scope.
More videos from Brainfood Learning
Two other videos from the Fascinating World series by Brainfood Learning were reviewed by Schoolhouse Crew members:
On the Fascinating World of Birds DVD, kids see how a robin catches a worm, and what bird makes a call that is as loud as a chainsaw. They’ll also learn how a goose gets down, and exactly what an ostrich is doing when it eats rocks.
Featured birds include American robin, eagle, goose, hummingbird, macaw, ostrich, owl, pelican, penguin, and woodpecker. Students will also learn about depth perception from a “bird’s eye view”.
Watching the Fascinating World of Mammals DVD, kids will discover how a beaver builds a dam, what animal wears velvet, and even see a kangaroo boxing match!
Children will also learn about unique skills that some mammals may have, such as echolocation. Featured mammals include bat, bear, beaver, chimpanzee, dolphin, elephant, giraffe, kangaroo, lion, and moose.
Each DVD from the “Fascinating World Of…” series is priced at $14.99, direct from Brainfood Learning.