History of Life Series

Dwain Thomas, Lake Park High School, Roselle, IL
School Library Journal
January 2006

Summarizing the record of all life forms on the planet is certainly a challenging endeavor, but the producers of this exceptional series have created a masterful product which does just that. The presentation, which utilizes a variety of superior stills, video footage, and graphics, is paced so that middle school students can follow without being bored. Early Life examines the various theories of the Earth's formation and how primitive life progressed. Life Through Time continues that theme through the various geologic time periods including the effect of the planet's physical changes and an introduction to the concepts of evolution and extinction. An explanation of how Darwin's theory of natural selection developed is the focus of Evolution, while Evidence of Change expounds on the support of that controversial theory. The bonuses on the DVD include still images in slide format, video clips, a glossary, indexes to each segment, and English subtitles. Each title includes a review quiz, a thorough teacher's guide, and downloadable student activity sheets. The extraordinary quality of this series makes it a must-have for science collections.