curriculum reviews

Fascinating World of Mammals DVD review

My love of science is no secret and I enjoy being able to share good science dvds with my kids and students at co-op.  I was very excited to have the opportunity to review The Fascinating World of Mammals DVD from BrainFood Learning.  We really enjoyed how well this video was done.  It kept the whole family’s attention as we learned many facts about lots of different mammals.

Parents, Bryce (Ph.D.) and Jennifer (M.Ed.) Mooney , were looking for educational videos with “stimulating and interesting content” and could not find something that they were happy with.  These parents, of two young children, developed a series of DVDs that “educates as well as entertains”.

They shared this on their website,

“The goal of our video content is to capture the attention of the viewer and teach them a wide range of words and concepts. We do this by showing animals in their native habitat and displaying words with definitions to build a child’s vocabulary.

We are often asked what is the age range for the videos. We believe children of all ages can benefit from the videos. Children as young as two watch the videos repeatedly, learning to identify the insects and pronounce words that are often perceived to be beyond their age. On the other end of the age range we have received positive feedback from children as old as 13. We believe exposing children to larger concepts and “big words” help to prepare them for the academic challenges ahead.”

This $14.99 video is a few minutes short of an hour.  After watching the video a few times and talking about what we learned, I printed out the free curriculum that coordinates with the Mammals DVD.  This 16 page pdf contains a very thorough lesson plan including Content Standard, Objectives, Assessment and Field Trip recommendations.  There are pages of information and questions that go directly with the content on the DVD re-enforcing what is learned.  There is a vocabulary form and one to make an acrostic poem with the word MAMMAL.  An answer key is also included.  We enjoyed the card sort printables. I printed them on cardstock and laminated them, then cut them out.  The directions say to print, cut and glue word and picture on a notecard, then sort into mammal and non-mammal piles.  I kept the words and pictures separate and had David sort the pictures into mammal and non-mammal piles, then match the word with the picture.  This really helped with his reading too.

Some of our favorite mammals facts were:

  • a moose’s antlers grow velvet and the velvet comes off
  • dolphins have a “melon” area in their heads for echolocation
  • mammals have hair- hair grows from a follicle and can be in many forms such as fur, whiskers, quills or horns
  • giraffes have a hard time bending down to drink and are vulnerable to predators when they do
  • elephants can be right or left tusked

I really enjoyed this DVD.  I thought the content was great!  My favorite part is that the information was not “dumbed down”.  Our whole family, from 2 years old to adults, enjoyed watching and learning.  Everyone came away with a greater knowledge of what makes an animal a mammal and many interesting facts about each one of them.  Brainfood Learning also has DVDs about insects and birds.  There is also free curriculum to go along with those too.  I would highly recommend this Fascinating World series for your family.


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