Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Curiosity Files Review

The Curiosity Files, The Zombie Fire Ant.  

Are you curious yet?  I know I sure was when I was given the opportunity to review this great unit study.  What is Curiosity Files, and why are we talking about The Zombie Fire Ant?  Well, let me explain.  The Curiosity Files is a new unit study put together by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine or TOS for short.  This study is geared towards kids 8-13 years of age, and focuses on learning about subjects that most likely are new to both the kids and us parents.  The study is told by Professor Ana Lyze who states, "My research team and I specialize in the obscure, and bizarre.  We search land and seas for these oddities, and make each one a star".   We reviewed The Zombie Fire Ant, but there are 8 more unit studies available by TOS.  These studies are as follows:

1. Blue Footed Booby
2.  Cicada Killing Wasp
3.  Quicksand
4.  Blue Diamond
5.  Dung Beetle
6.  MRSA
7.  Puffer Fish
8.  Red Tide

As you can see by the titles, The Curiosity Files really does look for obscure topics and make them come to life for the kids.  The Curiosity Files are set up in E-Book format, which you can purchase and download from the TOS store.  Each E-book costs about $6.95 with a few of them costing as low as $1.00.  You also have the option to purchase the entire set for $46.00.  Pretty amazing deal.  I love the fact that these studies come in E-Book format so you can print what you need as many times as you need to.

What is included in the E-Book?  Everything you need to complete the lessons is laid out in the unit study. It is great!  Since it is a unit study, multiple academic subjects are covered.  Some examples of these subjects are:

1.     Bible
2.     Math
3.     Writing assignments/copywork
4.     Reading comprehension
5.     History
6.     Geography
7.     Spelling/Language Arts
8.     Arts and Crafts
9.     Science
To read more about what is covered in each Curiosity Files unit study, please visit the TOS store.  There are many different activities to choose from with suggestions for older/younger learners. 

How did we incorporate The Curiosity Files into our homeschool?
Great question!  Since the kids and I are fairly new to unit studies, we decided to add a little bit of Curiosity Files each day.  We began with All You Never Wanted to Know About The Zombie Fire Ant.  This is basically something at the beginning of the unit study explaining exactly what the Zombie Fire Ant is, where it came from, and what function it serves.  I read this out loud to both of the girls, stopping as needed for questions and discussions.  The kids were so intrigued and loved listening to the story of how the Zombie Fire Ant came into existence.  After reading, there were about 20 questions to be answered in the Let’s See How Much You Learned section of the unit study.  I decided to do this part out loud with the girls as well.  My reason, mostly because of Ash.  She is only 7 and not strong in writing.  She really wanted to participate, so I had the girls work as a team and answer the questions without writing.  This worked out great.  We then moved on to learn about God’s creation and what happens to species when they are taken out of their intended environment.  I chose one of the research activities for the kids to do together.  The girls needed to find and research an animal and an insect native to the United States.  They then needed to see if that animal was somehow placed into another part of the world by man, and what happened because of this.  The kids had a great time doing this.  This is only one great activity included in the unit study.  The kids and I also did Figure it Out, some math questions about the fire ant, Fire Ant Fun, which is basically a simple lesson on following directions, a couple of grammar lessons from The Write Stuff, and a great writing assignment for my older daughter.  I think the kids really enjoyed making ants on a log from the Let’s Get Creative Section.  As I mentioned earlier, the Curiosity Files also includes spelling, geography, science, and history into the unit study.  There are so many options for you to choose from that it is hard to list them all.  

Now comes the big question, what did we think of the Curiosity Files?  We loved it.  I am so thankful that I was able to review this great unit study by TOS

Disclosure:  All opinions in this review are my own.  I was given the product for free in exchange for an honest review.




  1. We did the Zombie Fire Ant study earlier this year and had a lot of fun. We still talk about it sometimes -- just last week I told Brennan he had written a zombie sentence in his assignment. ;)

  2. Thanks for posting this. I was just reading about these in the new TOS magazine that recently arrived.

  3. I've never heard of these unit studies and so I thank you for your review! It does sound like fun units! I will have to try them out!

  4. As a teacher myself, I love books/activities that are cross curricular. These allow children to really study something in depth in many ways and on different levels. They will retain what you have taught them so much better and be able to apply what they've learned to real life this way!


Thank you all so much for all the wonderful comments. I love to read them and check out what others are doing as well. I am thankful for all of you for reading and letting me know your thoughts.