Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Curiosity Files–Puffer Fish Product Review


The Curiosity Files™ : Puffer Fish

Explorations with Professor Ana Lyze—Expert in Outlandish Oddities
A FUN unit study for kids ages 8–13

I know it is school holiday time but the kids wanted something to do and I was given this product to review so this week was a good time to use it.

I have never used any of the Curiosity Files before.  They are published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Each File is $6.95 for a downloadable Ebook in PDF format or you can get a downloadable bundle of all 9 books for $46.00 (or $49 if you would prefer them on CD).   In the series are Cicada-Killing Wasp, Blue Diamond, Blue-Footed Booby, Dung Beetle, MRSA, Platypus, Red Tide, Zombie Fire Ants, Quicksand and Puffer Fish.  All unique and interesting subjects.

The series are written from the point of view of a child asking questions of Professor Ana Lyze (the name appealed to Zebra (10) as she is just starting to understand plays on words).  The information presented about the puffer fish was interesting and even though we had done a short study before on the fish we learnt some new things.  My children love the Magic School bus and this reminded me a little of them  – (zany and strange things of nature)  The difference is that this series are God focused.  The kids (and I) really enjoyed reading about the fish and not having to wade through the normal evolution biased information which seems to be in nearly every book you pick up. 

The information about the fish was interesting, clearly written and simple to understand.  This is the first bit of the Ebook which was a huge 85 pages.  You could print this up if you wanted to or do as we did and just read it off the computer.

puffer fish review

The next bit of the Ebook is a review which we did verbally (you could do it as a written test).  I was impressed that the girls could answer all of the questions except one.  Then the fun starts or it would have if my printer had not died. I was disappointed that at this present time I was unable to print out any of the worksheets and lapbook components.  I think there is enough work here for 1-2 weeks of work.  Every subject is covered –

  • Bible study and memory verses
  • Math, history, and geography investigations
  • Literature and suggested book list
  • Writing, spelling, and vocabulary activities
  • Beautiful copywork pages (manuscript and cursive)
  • Science observations, projects, and experiments
  • Discussion questions
  • Art, crafts, drawing, and coloring pages
  • Lapbook and notebook pages
  • Internet resources and video links
  • Complete answer key at the back making it very easy for Mum to check work.

It would also be perfect to use for a science fair project topic.  pufferfishpagespray

I liked that it was perfect to use with the workbox system as you could just print the bits you wanted and add to the kids boxes.

The age range was 8-13 and I think this was fairly accurate. My children are 5,7,9 and 10.  There were bits that could be used with younger children and my 5 year old was happy to listen to most of the information.  There was a lot that was above my kids work wise so this unit would be perfect for a family that likes to do unit studies together.  Just print and give the appropriate bits to each child.

Having tried this one  I would  buy more in the series as I feel that they are really worth the small cost ($6.95) as all the kids can use them, it was a simple and easy way to do a whole family unit study with no preparation on the part of Mum other than printing out the relevant work sheets.  All the information needed was included along with a list of links for more learning if you wanted to learn more. 

I was very impressed to see a section for kids with special needs giving ideas for extending their learning, with hands on ideas.  Having a son with special needs and a nephew with autism it is nice to know that they can be easily included in the unit study as part of the family with out Mum having to alter things specially for them.


Did you know that to become a qualified chef in Japan you have to do 2-3 years of study, and if you make it to the end of the exam have to eat your fish?  About 100 people die each year from eating Puffer fish?  Just some of the interesting facts included in the book.

If you would like to try a sample of this ebook click here.  If you would like to purchase this ebook or others in the series click here  or go to The Old Schoolhouse store website and search under Curiosity Files.


**Please note  I was not paid to write this review. 

I was given a free copy of the product for the purposes of review. ***

No comments:

Post a Comment