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CBC Enterprises, 1989. VHS cassette, 30:00 min., $300.00, Wonderstruck Series (1-8) $2,000. Teacher's guide $10.00 per video or $48.00 for the series.
Distrib­uted by CBC Enterprises, Box 500, Station A, Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6

Grades 4 to 6/Ages 9 to 11
Reviewed by Graham Draper.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Understanding Animals is one of eight programs developed using footage from the "Wonderstruck" TV series. The individual topics on this program are as follows: "Monitor Lizards," "Imprint­ing a Beaver," 'Training Simian Help­ers," "Polar Bears" and "Dog Sled Teams."

While the series is intended for grades 4 to 6, the topics will be interest­ing to people beyond these grades. Overall, they are informative, entertain­ing and thought provoking. A minor problem is the difference in language level between the narrator and the experts being interviewed.

The teacher's guide includes eight pages of generic information about the series and about using video material in the classroom. There are general strategies and evaluation techniques. Five pages deal specifically with the program topics and offer previewing suggestions, focusing activities, follow-up ideas and reference materials. There are thirteen reproducible pages de­signed as activity cards.

Without question the topics of this program are stimulating and will lead to important classroom dialogues. There is, however, little linking the topics together. Teachers will likely find one or two have niches in their courses of study but will rarely use all.


Graham Draper, Markville Secondary School, Markham, Ont.
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