Wednesday, July 31, 2013

BrainFood Learning: Fascinating World of Insects DVD {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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Sometimes it's nice to let someone else do the teaching. That's why I LOVE opportunities to review DVDs! BrainFood Learning sent members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew three of their science DVDs: Fascinating World of Birds, Fascinating World of Insects, and Fascinating World of Mammals.
Our family watched the Fascinating World of Insects DVD.

Here's a preview . . . 

I don't know about you, but just like the preview mentioned, not a day goes by that I don't come across some type of insect. They're definitely worth learning about since they really are EVERYWHERE! Most of the time I view the little six-legged creatures as a nuisance, but I know they're quite beneficial, too. I sure am thankful for all of the bees buzzing around in my backyard - I do love honey and flowers.

In this visually stimulating DVD about insects, kids of all ages can watch striking insect videos and learn basic insect facts. There are quite a few really interesting details about specific insects, too. Some of the information was even new to me!

 photo insects_front_500__981921320383955300400_zps866e5588.jpg Eleven featured insects are plainly identified and revealed in their natural surroundings, and they include:

1. Grasshopper - Did you know that there are 18,000 different species of this insect? That's a lot of grasshoppers! You will also learn how far the grasshopper can jump and what it does when it feels threatened. (It's kind of gross!)

2. Lady Bug - Did you know that these insects taste bad? Well, I hope not. :) You will also learn why these insects are so beneficial and that they come in a variety of colors, even one color you may have never seen on a lady bug.

3. Rhino Beetle - Did you know that this is one of the strongest creatures on earth? You will also learn what their horns are used for, how long they live, and if you should be scared of these frightening-looking insects.

4. Firefly - Did you know that these insects only glow in certain parts of the United States? I found that really interesting, but you'll have to watch the video to find out if they glow where you live! You will also learn how long they live, why they use their light, and if it's hot or not.

5. Mosquito - Did you know that only females suck your blood? You will also learn how mosquitoes find you and why their buzz is so irritatingly loud!

6. Honey Bee -  Did you know that nectar is turned into honey inside a bee's stomach? You will also learn how bees gather nectar and pollen and how they build their hives.

7. Water Strider - Did you know that these insects have really good vision? You will also learn how they float in the water and what keeps them from getting wet.

8. Ant - Did you know that ants have two stomachs? Learn why by watching the video! You will also learn how strong they are, what their antennae are used for, and how they work together.

9. Praying Mantis - Did you know that there are 20 species in North America? You will also learn why they are beneficial and what makes their heads so unique.

10. Dragonfly - Did you know that these insects can hover in place, fly forward, fly backward, and fly sideways? That's talent! You will also learn just how fast they can fly and what insect is their favorite snack.

11. Butterfly - Did you know that a butterfly's front wings and rear wings are hooked together? You will also learn about the butterfly's stages of growth and metamorphosis.

Throughout the video, vocabulary words in bold, orange letters appear on the screen and are defined by a child's voice. Words appear as they are introduced in the video, and they are as follows:

  • Entomologist
  • Species
  • Elytra
  • Larva
  • Scientific Name
  • Proboscis
  • Pollination
  • Adaptation
  • Colony
  • Predator
  • Wingspan
  • Metamorphosis

At the end of the video, there is a Five Part Review which progresses from easy to difficult.

     1. Insect Flash Cards: This is a review of each insect studied in the video. You see a picture of the insect and its name on the screen, and you hear its name spoken aloud.

     2. Review Your Insects: A picture of an insect appears on the screen with multiple choice answers from which to choose.

     3. Parts of an Insect: The video reviews the parts of insect with a labeled picture on the screen.

     4. Review Insect Facts: There are 11 questions (1 for each insect learned) and multiple choice answers from which to choose.

     5. Review the Big Words: There are 12 multiple choice questions which review all of the vocabulary words learned throughout the video.

The video is approximately 43 minutes long, and although it is appropriate for all ages, I personally feel that it is geared mostly toward children in elementary school. If your children are in 7th grade and up, I think they would need something a little more challenging unless they've never studied insects before. Even though my sixth grade son and ninth grade son watched along with my daughter (third grade) and me, they both knew most of the information already, except for maybe a few interesting facts. They knew all of the basic stuff, though. With that said, it was still an engaging video for the whole family to enjoy.

My daughter benefitted the most from watching the video, and I believe she even got all of the Five Part Review answers right! Younger children, even preschoolers, would probably enjoy the video, too. Be aware that they might not be ready for parts 4 and 5 in the review section.

The Fascinating World of Insects will be a great addition to your educational DVD collection. You can purchase this DVD on the website for $14.99. (Shipping is calculated at checkout.)

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