Friday, June 1, 2012

Dive into your Imagination DVD/Curriculum

My latest product received as part of the TOS Review Crew is from "Dive Into Your Imagination" and when they say "Dive" they mean scuba dive!

Crew members were sent one of three DVDs

  • Dive Into Diversity
  • What Makes a Fish a Fish?
  • Who Lives in the Sea? 

We enjoyed watching our Dive Into Diversity DVD, which was filled with stunning film from undersea dives. Dive Into Diversity has 8 "Chapters", as well as a "Meet Annie" (The founder and CEO of Dive Into Your Imagination) and "Meet Craig"(The music producer of the video) section. I recommend watching "Meet Annie" before jumping right in to the various chapters. It is a great introduction to scuba diving gear, underwater photography, and a tiny bit of ocean ecology.
There are 8 chapters in Dive Into Diversity

  1. Night Diving on the Reef
  2. Dive into Diversity
  3. Be a Submarine Pilot
  4. Swim in a Kelp Forest
  5. Invertebrates of the Sea
  6. Coral Reef Living
  7. Sea Animals with Backbones
  8. Wacky, Weird, Crusty Crustaceans

Here are my pros and cons for this series, based on our viewing of this DVD

  • The photography is absolutely stunning! Your children are likely to be riveted to the TV or Computer as an incredible array of ocean creatures make their way across the screen. The photography is just stunning!
  •  Some great little factoids about some more obscure animals.
  • Good introduction to ocean ecology. 
  • Interesting to a variety of ages (including adults). My Eldest, listening along commented that it *is* important to care for and keep our oceans clean as the greatest number of oxygen producing plants live in the ocean (kelp).
  • Great vocabulary with explanations included. 
  • Using my Christian worldview it is easy for me to extrapolate ~ With such an incredible amount of diversity in the ocean, it is just SO apparent that we didn't all come from one big bang! The fact that everything is so finely tuned and balanced~ In Ocean Annie's words: "Diversity in nature helps to protect the balance that is necessary in the world." I can't imagine that our world's ecology could have existed and thriven without that delicate balance all along.
  • A little nit-picky, but in my opinion worth mentioning. I have to say that the narration and many tonal inflections of this film grated on me, personally. There are so many pauses... between phrases... that I'm thinking... that it sounds... like a script is being... read "Clearly" ...but without much ...conversational quality... or personality. It also reminds me of some of the videos I've seen that were intended strictly for toddlers. I have to admit that my youngest wasn't bothered by this at all, and my Middlest didn't mention it, but my Eldest definitely agreed. While I would like to say that these videos are totally appropriate for all ages, because of the style of narration, they are *mostly* appropriate for early elementary. That being said, I am very likely to contemplate purchasing other videos in this series, because they are just so beautiful.
  • There are a few factoids that made us wonder about their inclusion (The wrasses that change from female to male, and clown-fish that change from male to female...) ~ we just commented on how "odd" that is...
Personally, I feel that the pros(incredible, crisp, clear photography and scientific information) far outweigh the cons (Which are mostly personal taste). I also have to mention that once the video has been watched for "content" there is the option to play it with music only~ what a lovely background, or "quiet down" time. There is also a Spanish Language Option, for those who are interested.

Here's a sample from Dive Into Diversity so you can see for yourself some of the stunning photography, however, I have to caution that the quality of the DVD is so much brighter, clearer, and more pristine that the quality of this YouTube video~ I can't emphasize enough that the DVD photography really is fabulous!:

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Educator Guides that can also be found on the website(s). Each DVD has 2 Educator Guides (PreK/K and 1st-3rd) that can be utilized for extended learning and activities. My littlest is the only one that they are appropriate for, and right now he is into coloring, so the coloring pages that came along with this guide were perfect. He was paying such close attention to detail~ he pointed out to me that he made the seahorse's eye green (Can you see that? It's tiny! His motor skills are coming along! :D). However, coloring pages aren't the only things included in these guides. The Pre-K/K guide alone has over 300 pages~ That's a lot of material!

From "How to use this book" For each chapter of the video there is a lesson plan that includes:
a. Character education and imagination play for your students.
b. A set of student questions correlating to the lessons designed to prompt discussion and enhance learning during video and multi-media viewing.
c. Ideas and support materials you can use to build learning centers in your classroom which combine science with other core subjects.
d. A glossary of scientific terms, eco-tips and websites for educator content support.
e. Suggested book lists and extension activities that can be used to bring an ocean of imagination flooding into your class.

Now for the Nitty Gritty~
Company website(s) and
Product: Ocean DVD Dive Into Diversity  ($19.95) and optional Educator Guide 
Running Length: 45-ish minutes
Special Offers:
  • Free shipping for orders placed on during the month of June 
  • Free Educator guide with DVD Order (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!) If the Educator Guides are something that you are remotely interested in, be sure to order soon, as the price appears to be rather cost-prohibitive for the average homeschooling family if not ordered with this special. (I do not know how long this offer is valid, but I would expect through the month of June, along with the free shipping?)
Ages: For Educational Purposes, Pre-K through 3rd Grade, but I feel that these videos can be enjoyed by all ages. They really are spectacularly filmed!
I hope that this review is helpful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget. Please be sure to stop by the TOS Review Crew blog and see what others had to say about the DVD's that they received for review.

Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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