Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BrainFood Learning



Fun facts.


Yes! My kids love when we can watch a movie for school. That's why I was excited to receive The Fascinating World of Mammals from BrainFood Learning.

BrainFood Learning was started by parents who were "looking for stimulating and interesting content that educates as well as entertains." When they couldn't find anything to meet their criteria, they created the "Fascinating World of . . . " video series. These videos about mammals, insects, and birds were designed to capture the attention of the viewer and teach a wide range of words and concepts.   

The first time we watched the video, we were on our way to an appointment. It's always a treat to watch a movie while we're driving, so the kids were excited. They were drawn in immediately. Since I was in the front passenger seat, I could only hear the music and talking. The kids were quiet except for the occasional yelling of an answer. The fact that they were speechless and totally focused on the tv was impressive. I leaned back a few times to see what was so intriguing. 

Each of the mammals is shown in his own habitat. The pictures are beautiful. I am not an I-love-to-touch-and-pet-animals type of person, but I am an I-love-to-look-at-animals-from-a-distance type of person. Later, when we all sat cuddled on the couch, I saw why they loved the video so much.

The 52-minute movie features 10 mammals:
  • giraffe
  • moose
  • lion
  • dolphin
  • elephant
  • beaver
  • chimpanzee
  • bat
  • kangaroo
  • bear

Each mammal is shown and described for 3-4 minutes. I learned some really interesting things watching this. Did you know that you can tell the difference between male and females giraffes (or bajraffes, as my 3-year-old calls them) by looking at their horns? A male's horns are bald and, a female's horns have tufts of hair. Or did you know that lions rest 20 hours a day? Now I know why they're always so lazy when we go to the zoo!

photo source

The video is great for all ages. Tyler, our 16-month-old, had no real interest in watching it, though that's typical of him. He walked around, playing and getting into everything, as usual. Starting with Zac (3 yr) all the way through me (31 yr) thoroughly enjoyed watching it. A few times, my hubby and I looked at each other in surprise at some of the facts. Really? I didn't know that!

Did you know . . . 
  • that an elephant can be right- or left-tusked, just like a human is right- or left-handed? 
  • that beavers mate for life?
  • that an alpha male chimp is not necessarily the strongest, but has best negotiating skills and the most friends?
  • that a bat colony can be anywhere from just a few to millions?

The first 35 minutes are spent learning about the animals. The remaining 17 minutes is a review of what you've learned. It starts with simple drilling of the mammals' pictures and names. From there, it gets increasingly more difficult as you review terms and facts. We had fun seeing who could be the first one to answer each question correctly.

photo source

 So, what would all this talk about animal facts be without a quiz, right? See if you know more than I did before watching this!

1. How much can a moose weigh?
     A. 2,000 lbs.
     B. 1,500 lbs.
     C. 1,700 lbs.
     D. 2,200 lbs.

2. How many teeth does a dolphin have?
     A. 250
     B. 100
     C. 50
     D. 75

3. How soon after birth can a beaver swim?
     A. Immediately
     B. One hour
     C. One day
     D. One week

4. How large can a bat's wingspan be?
     A. 3 feet
     B. 6 feet
     C. 2 feet
     D. 4 feet

5. Which is not a color of the black bear?
     A. Black
     B. Cinnamon
     C. Brown
     D. Gray

6. What is the size of a newborn kangaroo?
     A. Jellybean
     B. Apple
     C. Acorn
     D. Watermelon 

Did you know them all? If not, I guess you're going to have to watch the video!  All right, the answers are at the bottom of the post, but truly, you will learn so much more than these six questions from watching the video itself. It costs $14.99 plus shipping. There are also free lesson plans that incorporate reading, writing, and science. 

You can watch this short preview to get a better understanding of what the video is like.

Our whole family enjoyed this. I know that we'll continue watching it over the years.

Some of my crew mates received the DVDs about birds and insects. You can read those reviews and more about the mammals on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

Quiz answers: B, A, C, B, D, A
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  1. Guess I have to watch this video, I only got one right!

  2. Oh I got two right!!! Love the idea of having a quiz on a review ~ it certainly got me clicking over which I don't always :) This sounds wonderful! :)