Review of BrainFood Learning: Fascinating World of Birds

Brainfood Learning offers educational videos. I love to use videos in our learning. It’s often a fun way to reinforce something we are learning or to introduce a topic that we are going to learn more about.

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In this coming year, I am going to be using Apologia’s Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day with Ashlyne and Rachel (grades 4 and 3). Because we are going to be studying birds, I chose the Fascinating World of Birds video. This video says it is appropriate for all ages, and it sells for $14.99.

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Despite the “appropriate for all ages” designation, my older kids didn’t seem incredibly thrilled to be included when I played Fascinating World of Birds for them all. All of my crew- ages 14, 12, 9, and 7 gathered in our schoolroom to watch.

The video begins with a basic explanation of some of the characteristics of all birds. At the end of the section, a child’s voice explains the definition of some bird terminology while the words show on the screen. After the introduction, the video takes an up close look at some specific birds-the ostrich, penguin, goose, owl, hummingbird, woodpecker, macaw, pelican, American Robin, and eagle.

In each section there is some footage of the bird being featured. There is some well-done and interesting video. I really enjoy animal videos, and I found myself enjoying watching the various birds. I learned a few things also! Throughout the video, a voice is talking while the video of the birds is playing in a documentary style. And at the end of each section, the same child’s voice introduces a few new words and their meanings.

As we started the video, my youngest was the only one really interested. She stayed pretty intensely focused on the video. But what surprised me was that as the video went on, my older kids began to enjoy it also. They had comments to add about the birds being discussed. They asked some questions, and we talked about them and waited to see if they would be answered. By the end of the video, they were pretty interested as well.

When the video finished, there were some short interactive quizzes that asked some questions and gave the kids time to answer. The kids could answer most of the questions after watching the video.

The things I particularly liked about the video:

* It was very engaging. I was surprised that it drew even the older kids in, and I enjoyed watching it also.

* I thought it was great that new vocabulary was introduced in each section. I think the way that they did it- with the child’s voice explaining- was a good way to make it easy for kids to grasp and remember.

* I thought it was good that the video started with general bird characteristics and then went on to point out the traits of the specific birds mentioned.

* I liked that there was a variety of birds chosen to be featured. By choosing birds of different types, from different areas, with different traits, the video was able to introduce to kids so many new concepts about the birds.

* The review at the end was  great. With any video, there is always a question about whether or not it actually “stuck.” Did they really learn anything? Listening to them answer the questions helped to reassure me that they did, indeed, learn something.

*** Update and Something Else I Now Love!***  Brainfood Learning has now released lessons plans for these science videos. You can find lesson plans to use with Fascinating World of Birds here.

I thought this was a great introduction to the topic of birds for my younger kids. And I think my older kids found it more interesting than they had expected. I will be able to refer back to the things we learned from the video when we’re reading about birds in our science this year.

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You can read what other Review Crew members thought about this and other videos from BrainFood Learning by clicking below.


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