Friday, May 25, 2012

Crew Review: Dive into Your Imagination DVD

Over the past few weeks we've had the chance to review our last product for the 2011-2012 Crew Review year:  Dive into Diversity, a DVD unit study about the ocean habitat.

This DVD is one of three DVDs produced specifically for children and the educational  market. The others are:  What Makes a Fish a Fish?  and What Lives in the Sea?  All three are $19.95 each.

The DVDs (meant for ages preK and up) are beautiful filmed by Annie Crawley, who is an underwater cinematographer, educator, and motivational speaker. You can definitely sense Annie's passion about the ocean, teaching and following your dreams as you read her bio at the website.

The DVD I reviewed had the following chapters:

Crusty Crustaceans  • Night Diving • Coral Reef Living • Be A Submarine Pilot • Swim in a Kelp Forest • Sea Animals with Backbones •  Diversity • Invertebrates of the Sea • The Ocean Song see the clip):

Our DVD Experience: The kids loved most of the DVD.  At the beginning (and sporatically throughout), they thought the DVD was a little too pre-schooly for them.  What made them think this?  In the beginning part of the DVD, scenes of toddlers and pre-schoolers were shown learning to swim.  Once the kids got past that part, all three were watching and listening to the amazing footage of that mysterious place under the surface of the water.

A note:  Speaking about the diversity of life in the ocean, Annie mentions briefly that clownfish can change from male to female (she mentions the wrasses fish that changes from girl to boy).  This is called sequential hermaphroditism (something I looked up on Wikipedia just now).  It is a response that God has given to the animals in a situation where the female has been killed or leaves the structured society within which clownfish live; in order to continue to populate their region one of the males becomes female (see the Wikipedia page about clownfish, specifically the reproduction section).  Now, Annie does not use the term "sequential hermaphroditism" nor does she mention that this is in response to physical changes in the clownfish community. This is pretty complex stuff for early elementary aged students. But I mention this in case you want to preview the chapter "Diversity" or are hesitant to introduce this topic within your family.

Also made available to us for this review were two sets of teaching guides for the DVD:  one was for preK-K and the other for grades 1-3. I did not download the preK-K level (Levi is more a grade 1 student now), but the grade 1-3 guide is over 300 (!!) pages of materials.  For each chapter on the DVD, the educator's guide has:

  1. Character education and imagination play for your students.
  2. A set of student questions correlating to the lessons designed to prompt discussion and enhance learning during video and multi-media viewing.
  3. Ideas and support materials you can use to build learning centers in your classroom which combine science with other core subjects.
  4. A glossary of scientific terms, eco-tips and websites for educator content support.
  5. Suggested book lists and extension activities that can be used to bring an ocean of imagination flooding into your class. [taken from the guide, p.9]
Additional instructions were:
"This book is designed for educators to use in planning ocean based activities for students combining science, literacy, math, geography, and character education.... Though each unit provides several learning station activities, we suggest choosing 2-3 of them for use at any one time. Our goal is to provide you with many tools and options in order for you to customize a program appropriate for your class." [also found on p. 9]
We used several of the ideas in the guide to springboard discussion after watching the movie.  I printed off a worksheet to target vocabulary and had Luke and Levi work together to unscramble to words. I think there is a LOT of material in the guides that can be used to create a whole unit study of learning.

A note about the guides: The guides are available (click for store at as a printed version for $299 (for the whole set of them) or as individual PDFs for $69.95. As a special for the Homeschool Crew and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and followers, Annie Crawley of Dive Into Your Imagination will gift you a set of PDFs with purchase of the DVDs. When you place your DVD order, just let her know in the notes that you are a Homeschool Parent! {Super really important:  do not order the guides at the anniecrawley website.  Just make a note in the "comments" or "notes" section of your DVD order that you are a homeschool parent and want a copy of the guides.}

To read what other reviewers thought of the DVDs, head over to the crew:


Disclaimer: In exchange for a copy of the product reviewed above, I was asked to give my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own. Pricing and information about the DVDs and guides are accurate as of this post date.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

They look really awesome!! I have to put this on the wish list!