We have reviewed 3 book apps in the Human Body Detective (HBD) Series. As I found out, HBD series also offers learning activities designed based on the apps, and the activities are aligned with school curriculum. Our reviewer Piwi Mama reviewed the materials. Today she is sharing her experience with the curriculum as part of our “Off Screen with App” features.
The Human Body detectives (HBD) series tells stories of two sisters, Merinn and Pearl, as Human Body Detectives. After reading a lot about human bodies they both are able to use their imagination to go on adventures inside the body to solve medical mysteries. The science activity curriculum has three units that meet the common core standards for Grades 3-5.
- HBD go into the Digestive to go with ‘The Lucky Escape’
- HBD go into the Immune system to go with ‘The Battle of the Bugs’
- HBD go into the Circulatory syste to go with ‘A Heart Pumping Adventure’
Each unit includes:
- Four 50-minute lesson plans including material sheets for hands on Experiments.
- 20+ pages of activities and worksheet
- .Jeopardy® review assessment on Power Point
- Audio recording of the theme song and the story the unit is based on.
- Printable stickers and poster
There are also two additional units to increase knowledge about the foods which help our body function at its best and promote a healthy body image
- Nutrition Fruition is available for elementary age students
- Nutrition 101 is for Middle school and High school ages students.
Each unit can be purchased separately or they can be purchased as a bundle. All curriculum items are available as downloads. They can be used separately with the included audio recording of the the related title. However the books or app (sold separately) add even more to the curriculum.
How we used the curriculum
We received a download code for HBD go into the Immune system. We used this unit with the app ‘Battle of the Bugs’.
The teachers guide suggests that lessons can be spread out over four weeks. I had planned to spread them out over two weeks. That is until my daughter asked to do one each day. It is hard to argue with that kind of enthusiasm so I postponed our History unit until the following week.
Each day we would do a lesson and then complete the activities. We would spend about an hour on it. My 7 year old daughter is younger than the suggest Grade 3-5 target for the lesson, so we just took it slowly. At one point she was overwhelmed with all the different duties of the White blood cells so we made web diagram of them all. Then we did some role playing and took turns being the different invaders and white blood cells. The final lesson we spread out over two days so we could take extra time with the experiments.
What did we think of HBD?
My daughter was enthusiastic and enjoyed the activities. The puzzles were a bit more difficult than she was used to but she likes a good puzzle challenge and we worked on them together. She also like the idea of putting together her ‘case file’. I have since overhead her telling her Daddy (when he said he was feeling tired one evening) not to eat sugar if he was getting sick.
Downloads are easily accessible with a password from the website. With our potentially nomadic lifestyle I appreciated that there were no textbooks to store. The experiment and activities in the Immune unit were fun and well thought out, and required little preparation. The program is also easily adapted to different ages and number of students.
What could it be improved?
We didn’t find anything that we didn’t like about the unit we completed. My only suggestion would be that if a lesson involves a group activity then an alternative version could be included for students learning individually. However, with a bit of creativity we were able to find a way around this.
Until last week I didn’t think it was possible to make the HBD series any better than it already is. However seeing and using the curriculum that supports the books changed my mind. The lessons became family dinner conversation. I believe this curriculum would be a good fit for any Home school (or After school) science curriculum Grade 2 and up. They would also be a great option for Co-ops and regular classroom settings. Our family will definitely be investing in the rest of the the Human Body detective curriculum.
HBD curriculum is available on their website for $97 each. They are also available on Homeschool Buyers Co-op and Teachers pay Teachers with great discounts. The great news is Dr. Heather Manley, author of the books, has given iGameMom readers exclusive deals of up to 85% off on the books and curriculum. Here are the link for the deals (Note: they are not affiliated links – they are directly from Dr. Heather Manley)
Today’s app is reviewed by JJ (Piwi mama), a proud wife and mama of two girls. The family travel with her hubby’s work so most of her time is spent teaching her kids. In her spare time, JJ blogs about their portable learning and reviews books. You can read about their travels at Learning and Growing the Piwi way