Thursday, February 4, 2016

Expand children's reading & science skills with a Rainforest Journey

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **
The winter months can be cold and dreary in Michigan, but that hasn't prevented my kids from exploring tropical habitats filled with lush vegetation and exotic creatures over the last few weeks.  They've been able to go on a Rainforest Journey without having to leave the comfort of our home thanks to an innovative online science and reading curriculum program created by the company EdTechLens.  Designed for children 5 - 12 years old, EdTechLens' Rainforest Journey teaches the life science components of elementary school science curriculum through taking kids on a vibrant, multimedia tour of a rainforest. Students are walked through five multi-chaptered units of study during their Rainforest Journey which include the big picture of the rainforest, adapt or die, animals, plants and fungi, and ecosystems

(c) EdTechLens - Rainforest Journey

Whether using for home schooling or to supplement what a child is being taught at school, the curriculum format of this program ensures kids are learning during their Rainforest Journey.  Parents can customize the reading level and educational complexity so it is appropriate for their child's grade in school from Kindergarten through 5th Grade.  We've been utilizing the first grade edition (CLICK HERE to sample one of the lesson segments my kids have used) and it has meshed well with where my twins are in their studies at in school.  If children are struggling to read along through the presentation on their own there is also an optional audio narration component that reads the text as a child follows along.  Scientific concepts such as ecosystems and the water cycle are explained through easy to understand graphs and illustrations.  Plus there is a focus on using this experience to expand a child's vocabulary as they make their way through each section of this online teaching aid.

To reinforce the lessons learned in each unit of the Rainforest Journey includes a printable activity sheet that parents and kids can work on together before they move on to the next topic.  Also each section concludes with an online test that measures a student's comprehension of their grade appropriate material and provides parents with an assessment.  Parents can block children from moving on to next unit of material until a satisfactory score has been achieved.

Rainforest Journey's online educational portal will work with any computer or handheld device that can connect with the Internet.  It's lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the New York State Science Standards plus each lesson includes a non-fiction reading passage to promote literacy. To further assist with reading skill development each of the learning sections provides parents with a Lexile score and word count to assist with measuring a child's abilities.

To prevent children from considering the educational aspects of Rainforest Journey as being boring or burdensome, lessons include video clips and photographs specifically selected to pique a child's curiosity.  Brilliantly colored amphibians, bug eating plants, camouflaged predators, distorted fungi, and rhinoceros-looking insects will wow and intrigue kids into wanting to learn more.

My son's favorite animal is the jaguar and he was just thrilled by the photos and video of this ferocious feline when we came upon them.

It is nice that you can select a specific grade level from K - 5 so that you know the material is relevant and relatable to the child using a Rainforest Journey.  My twins are beginning readers and their teacher has asked parents to make sure students read for 30 minutes every night after school.  With  pages that feature one line sentences crafted for first grade aged children to read this was a perfect opportunity to get in their reading every night while enhancing their interest in nature, conservation and science.

An annual subscription to Rainforest Journey is normally $50 per grade level.  So for example using the program for one child in first grade would cost just $50 for twelve months access. But say for example you have multiple children in kindergarten, third grade and fifth grade and want to customize the complexity for each of their individual learning levels that would be a $150 subscription fee.  Unless you use this special code ETLN2015 which will provide new subscribers to Rainforest Journey with a 50% discount on their order! This is a limited time offer and I'm not sure when it will expire.

Before making a decision, CLICK HERE to take a walk through Rainforest Journey to get an in-depth overview of the activities and resources provided through this educational tool.  Check out samples of the five lesson units as well as compare how the kindergarten version differentiates from the fifth grade.  Take a few moments to watch a video orientation that explains the program and its merit.  Note that a Rainforest Journey isn't fun and games meant to amuse kids but rather a serious educational tool which utilizes interesting topics and visuals that entice children to be enthusiastic about learning. Put those cold winter days where your kids may be trapped in the house to good use with a Rainforest Journey.


  1. These are such vibrant pictures. I love that your kids are visiting the rainforest without leaving home. I bet they know more than I do.

  2. Sounds like a good program for kids. Agreed w/ Rachel too - love the pics! Especially the frog one.

  3. What an educational read. With two daughters that love to read and to learn this see,s like a great value for what you get!

  4. Truly informative and educational. I must get a copy of this for my kids.

  5. Really cool! I bet your kids had a blast with it.

  6. How awesome! My son would absolutely love this.

  7. How fun! The graphics/images look amazing!

  8. This is really, really cool. I think my son would love this.