Life sciences are a fascinating field, and many children are entranced by the study of human anatomy – my six-year-old certainly is. However, the complex body systems, difficult to visualize positioning of organs within three-dimensions, and confusing terminology can make anatomy a difficult subject to master for children.
Rock ‘N Learn’s Human Body DVD is designed to make the study of anatomy, and the reviewing of key facts easy and fun. Designed for children in grades four through eight focuses on exploring the main body systems: skeletal, nervous, muscular, circulatory, urinary, respiratory, digestive, and an overview of the five senses.
The main portion of the DVD “Science Station” follows Kevin as Marko the talking pencil helps him study and review key facts about the human body in preparation for a test. The computer-animated models of various body systems are an incredible improvement on the flat, 2-D diagrams up using. Finally, children can easily picture the workings of the inner ear. A great deal of basic anatomical detail is covered in this 30-minute segment.
A “Practice Test” segment works students through four questions of a multiple choice sample exam (five minutes in length). The DVD’s characters reason through the questions aloud, providing a model for students to follow in their own thinking when facing standardized tests.
Along with a standard scene selection menu, a stand-alone of the “Alimentary Canal Song” which also appears in the main portion of the disc features words at the bottom of the screen. A bonus segment on the “Food Pyramid” is also included to provide basic information about a balanced diet. One of features I appreciated in the “Science Station” segment was an inclusion of health-related information and guidance there as well, expanding the versatility of this DVD beyond the realm of strict anatomy.
Concerned parents should note that no mentions of evolution or creation are mentioned – the DVD sticks to anatomical facts. The DVD also doesn’t cover or mention the reproductive system. Unlike other Rock ‘N Learn titles, there isn’t a strong emphasis on song in Human Body. The strength of this title is including spoken explanations, humor, and easy to understand visual models.
Most exciting however is how much children enjoy this DVD. Though my oldest is well below the age recommendation for this disc she repeatedly asks to watch it. That being said, the presentation isn’t childish, it is animated, and includes talking pencils and a talking butterfly, but Kevin is always treated respectfully as an independent learner.
The Human Body is an excellent supplement to any introductory study of anatomy. If a child masters the facts presented on this disc they’ll have a solid foundation of anatomical knowledge to build upon in more advanced courses of study.
A video sample from this DVD and a full list of the science vocabulary presented on this disc can be found on the Rock 'N Learn website. U.S. readers can use coupon code JQ7711 for a 25% discount there.