I’m happy to share with you a creative and fun way to study the human body. I came across this program many years ago, about 10 actually. I first used Lyrical Life Science- Volume 3 with my two oldest children. I liked it so much that I am using it again with my youngest. What makes this program shine is most definitely the music. It is simply fantastic and so well done. We listen to it whenever we ride in the car; it seems effortless learning. The more we listen and memorize the songs, the more we learn about our bodies.
The songs are so much fun because they really capture you and are so very witty. For example the first track on the skeletal system begins: “Oh shiver me timbers don’t ya know these bones are skeletal….” While the lyrics teach vocabulary and terms, they also cover a great deal of what each body part does and so covers the material presented in the text. The songs give your brain an easy way to remember and familiarize yourself with new info. That’s the basis for all the units available at Lyrical Learning. They offer:
- Bacteria to Birds- Volume 1
- Mammals, Ecology and Biomes – Volume 2
- The Human Body – Volume 3
- Lyrical Earth Science: Geology
The lyrics have been put to familiar song tunes, many of which are cleverly selected to fit the body system. For example the immune and lymph system is to the tune of “La Cucaracha” and the circulatory system is to the tune of “Red River Valley”. In addition, they are extremely well performed. Musically, it is simply exceptional! Be sure to listen to a sample.
OK, so it is a little wacky maybe even goofy. But a little humor never hurts to aid in learning; it’s very fun. The idea is that through the learning of the lyrics to these songs your child will learn all the vocabulary terms and the meanings behind them, therefore memorizing both the material presented in the chapter and making connections mentally to the new information. I am simply amazed at the amount of information in each song. Once you get the lyrics down, you have mastered the basis of content in each chapter.
It’s a great 3 part method:
- Listen to songs– on CD. Fully summarizes the text information in a witty, fun, and well performed manner.
- Read the text-The text explains the lyrics and presents the lessons in written format. It includes the sheet music and numerous line drawings and diagrams.
- Complete the workbook pages-There are three workbook pages per chapter.
The workbook contains:
- Fill-in-the-blank lyric sheets.
- True/false, matching, and short answer questions.
- Longer answer questions.
- Answer key.
It’s an amazing anatomy and physiology study for students from 4th grade and up. For 4th and 5th grade students I recommend using it very lightly, perhaps just the music. The material is high level and is not required knowledge for that grade level. Especially the written answers may be too hard for a younger child. It’s probably perfect for 6th to 8th grade to be used alone and as is. For high school it could be used as a supplement or part of a biology or anatomy course and is particularly helpful in learning terms and vocabulary. This makes it an ideal program for use with multiple ages, everyone grasping the material at their own ability.
I can see this program being used in an “off and on the school bus” type method. By that I mean that everyone starts together, all ages starting with music, and as your instruction increases in difficulty younger children are dismissed as appropriate. Using the program this way may unfold like this: Older children follow lyrics in text while younger listen and color body pages. Once music is covered younger children are dismissed. With middle school and high school students you might continue with reading the text together and on some days doing workbook pages. Finally high school students continue independently with other parts of their biology or anatomy course.
The text covers the human body in eleven main body systems:
- Skeletal System
- Muscular System
- Nervous System
- Sensory System
- Reproductive System
- Digestive System
- Excretory System
- Circulatory System
- Immune and Lymph Systems
- Respiratory System
- Endocrine System
An introduction chapter on organization and a final chapter on “-ologies” is also included.
Lyrical Life Science is available from any of Lyrical Learning’s distributors for $29.50 for the CD, Text and Workbook set. Some distributors offer additional workbooks for $5.95. Some offer the CD and Text only for $23.50.
We are using this curriculum this year as a supplement to health and human medicine for my 4th grader. He loves the rhythm in the songs and as he is learning the lyrics he’s learning new vocabulary. It’s been so easy to listen to the CD in the car as we go to our extra curricular activities. In addition, I am working through the text myself to aid in my teaching and background knowledge of the subject. We’ve always enjoyed incorporating music and the other arts into our study of science.
Find out about the other volumes available and get another perspective by reading an earlier review here at The Curriculum Choice. Brenda gives great suggestions for incorporating this program into your science curriculum.