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    Curriculum Review: Body of Evidence DVD

    September 29, 2011 by Brandy Vencel

    Timberdoodle was kind enough to send me The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye DVD from the Body of Evidence DVD Curriculum. Unlike other reviews I’ve done for Timberdoodle, this was not for my children now, but rather I wanted to take it for a test-drive and see what I thought about using it as a curriculum for a junior high or high school anatomy course.

    My rating? Well, I give it 3 out of 5 stars for presentation {which I’ll explain} but 4 out of 5 overall.

    The one word that best describes the set up of this video is contrived. Dr. Menton, the professor-type teaching the “class,” is teaching two students. I suppose this could have been pulled off well, but it just isn’t very believable. I think it would have been best had the good doctor simply taught to the camera, but a second-best would have been to use a larger crowd. The two students were awkward and stilted.

    With that said, one of the things I always appreciate about Timberdoodle is that they are very honest in their curriculum descriptions. I wasn’t surprised at all to see that their description on their website was very open about this, my one complaint:

    A little bit campy in its approach, Body of Evidence is comprised of two high school students receiving instruction from former medical university professor Dr. David Menton. Though the setup may seem a bit stilted at first, a few moments into the series Dr Menton’s sincere passion for the wonder of the human body will easily have you overlooking the contrived setting


    I couldn’t help but like Dr. Menton by the end of the first session {each DVD contains 2 sessions–the first session on mine was, predictably, on how the ear hears}. I remember going over anatomy in my college biology class, and it was amazing. I was fascinated all over again with Dr. Menton’s description of the intricacy of the ear. By the end, I sort of felt like he was my grandpa, sharing his wisdom with me.

    What can I say? Sweet old men are very likable!

    My Future Plans
    I like the curriculum. Part of me felt like it wasn’t “enough;” I am so accustomed to my children learning from books rather than a screen. {Could you, would you have children narrate a DVD?} I am very tempted, though, to let my oldest watch the sessions where they fit with his anatomy chapters in his science reader next year, even though he will only be 10. My bigger temptation, though, is going to be to buy the curriculum and use it for junior high science. High schoolers would probably get more out of it, but I think a thirteen-year-old would do just fine and really enjoy the change of pace that a DVD curriculum would bring.

    I also noticed that there is a self-test workbook available if I thought we needed it.

    In all, if you’re looking to add a little something to your science, this might be a pleasant, relaxing, informative addition.

    Oh! And one more thought: the lecture style was much like what I experienced in college. It might be good training for any of our children who are planning on university education to practice taking notes along the way. The format definitely lends itself to this.

    Legal Disclosure:As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free Body of Evidence DVD in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

    Other Information:
    You can browse all of Timberdoodle’s science ideas by clicking here.
    See more reviews of this curriculum here.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Kelly May 2, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Brandy, We are trying this out for CM-style HS coursework. We will not be using the study guide/workbook (see I will use the answer guide as an in-a-nutshell cheatsheet of what Dr. Menton is hoping the students will take away with them. My freshman has been given creative licence to grow his study habits and try out different information-sharing approaches. He is developing his note-taking skills, and is welcome to try out written, tech-y, drawn, hand-crafted, audio-visual, or any other media, though I’d like to see him try out a different approach for each video/system. I do have to add that he has always been non-academic, though a voracious learner. My understanding of the CM ideal is that these years would be spent developing his skills, interests, and abilities, as he prepares to venture into adulthood. This is my attempt at applying that ideal to this educational resource.

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