Feb 11, 2011

TOS Review: The Curiosity Files

Unit studies are not regular fare around here, but we enjoy them now and again as a supplement to our regular curriculum diet. TOS Crew Members were asked to choose a topic from Professor Ana Lyze's Curiosity Files to use and review. The kids all voted and Puffer Fish got the most votes.
We really enjoyed this unit study. It has lots of interesting information about the puffer fish... "wild" ones are poisonous if not cooked correctly, but "tame" ones are not. This is because the toxins come from something they eat in the ocean and tame ones are not allowed to eat those toxic substances. However, the Emperor of Japan is not allowed to eat them, ever, for his own safety. Interesting, huh?
The pages of information are followed by a quiz, and ways to incorporate math, spelling, writing, copywork, science (of course), history and art into your study about this fascinating fish. It finishes up with a page full of book titles and another of links to "learn more" and then answers to all the questions asked.

The kids' favorite part was the coloring pages. When we first looked over the material, they started begging for me to print them off, and even my kid who thinks coloring is a chore to be endured, took his time and produced a beautiful final product.

As I said before, we don't do unit studies often, so I am not proficient at them. For that reason, I would have liked some sort of suggested schedule for mixing the reading and the activities and pulling in the additional resources. The other drawback to this product is that most of the pages are filled with a lot of color. It makes it look beautiful on the computer screen, but I was very reluctant to print it and use up all that ink.
What I did like is that it was easily adaptable to my younger crowd. It is listed as A FUN unit study for kids ages 8–13 but my kids, ages 4 to 8, were able to understand the info and had plenty of fun with the majority of the activities. There were also some "extension activities" just for older kids, even up into high school.
I also liked that the activities weren't just worksheets, but a mix of say, crossword puzzles and ideas for actual, hands-on things for the kids to make and do.
All in all, we enjoyed this Curiosity File, and look forward to exploring some more.

Curiosity Files can be purchased singly, or as a bundle, at The Old Schoolhouse store. Click HERE to check it out.

For the opinions and experiences of other Crew Members, click HERE.

And as always, this download was sent to me for free for the purpose this review. All opinions are honest and are my own.

1 comment:

Pleasantly Peavey said...

Liked your post. We had fun with our red tides unit too. I am now following you too. ;)


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