Monday, April 25, 2011

E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Red Tides ~A Review~

Well, until recently, I hadn’t either! Read on to see what they have to offer (if you are short on time focus on the bolded information)!

I was given the e-Book: The Curiosity Files - Red Tides to review. This unit is geared to children ages 8 to 13. I reviewed the product with my 11 year-old daughter and she was fully able to read the information and complete the activities with little to no help from me.

The e-Book begins by introducing you to Professor Ana Lyze – Expert in Outlandish Oddities and continues by sharing a ton of information about Red Tide in an effective and exciting way. The information here is anything but dry!

After the introduction, you have the “Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Red Tides…” section. Here you learn what a red tide really is (nope, it is not always red and it doesn’t have anything to do with tides), what causes a red tide, where red tides occur, how long they last, how they affect marine life and people, how to spot one and resources on where to learn more!

Next there is a glossary and a few pages that will give the student a chance to show how much he/she learned.

Then there is a page titled, In the Beginning. This is where the unit is tied into the Bible.

The Figure it Out section connects to Math and covers topics such as the Metric System, Estimation and Approximation, Percentages, Significant Digits, Rounding and includes a link to an online presentation about the mathematics of red tides. We didn’t do much in this section as Math is Unicorn’s least favorite subject and much of this is beyond where she is in math.

The Write Stuff gives students an opportunity to write a descriptive and/or persuasive essay about red tides. There is also an activity on Adjectives and a Game to reinforce adjectives.

The next section is Spelling and Vocabulary. Here there is an Elementary Word List and a Junior High/High School Word List and activities for each age group such as: Fill in the missing vowels, Fill in the Blank, Circle the correct Spelling, Reverse ABC order, Word Search, and Crossword Puzzles.

In the Just for Fun section there are ideas for games to play to reinforce learning.

The included Copywork section uses verses from the Bible that related to the topic in both cursive and print.

In the Lab, gives students hands-on activities to reinforce concepts including Food Chains/Webs and an Algae Scavenger Hunt.

There is also a Red Tide Special Needs Lesson, The Good Old Days (History of Red Tides), Where in the World? (Geography), Let’s Get Creative (Art/Craft/Activity ideas),

By using The Curiosity Fact Files you could very easily make a lapbook or notebook.

Also included is Music Mania (Red Tide facts put to music), Read All About It (a suggested reading list), Wanna Learn More? (links to more information) and Answer Keys!

Unicorn (age 11) did many of the activities. At first she said, “This is boring!” but as we went along she became more and more interested in Red Tides. Her favorite parts were the crossword puzzle, the food chain activities, the spelling activities and the beautiful pictures that are included. She also enjoyed using The Curiosity Fact File Snippets to make notebook pages.

As a parent, I liked the fact that the unit included every subject and that there was a variety of things to choose from! A HUGE bonus for me was that everything is included to provide a great learning experience but, additional resources are there if you or your child want to learn even more. This unit could be used for a weeklong unit or extended to a month (or more if you use the additional resources). I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these units!

One thing that I would have like to see is more ideas to modify the activities for the younger crowd. I also have a 3 year old and a 5 year old that would have enjoyed coloring pages and simple activities that were related to red tides.

Cicada-Killing Wasp
Blue Diamond
Blue-Footed Booby
Dung Beetle
Puffer Fish
Zombie Fire Ants

Disclaimer: The opinions expresses are entirely my own. This is not a compensated review; I received a copy of the product for review purposes only.
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  1. Family Style SchoolApril 26, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    What a great review! These are so fun!

  2. AdventuresinHomeEducatingApril 26, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Thank you! We had a lot of fun!

  3. We had to modify a bit as well, but the great thing about this series is the number of hands on activities. My 2 year old had a blast inside of our "platypus burrow"! Great review. We had a ton of fun with ours as well!

  4. AdventuresinHomeEducatingApril 29, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Thanks for stopping by! Yes...there are a ton of activities!


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