App review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2015
Monster Heart Medic
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Monster Heart Medic

Brilliant medical sim engages kids, promotes heart-healthy lifestyle

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
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3–6 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Science, Health & Wellness, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Real-world health simulations and fun arcade games teach kids about the importance of heart-healthy living.

Cons: Kids have to do a lot of reading, which could present a challenge for some less-strong readers.

Bottom Line: Fun, engaging adventure teaches kids about the cardiovascular system, medical diagnostics, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Use Monster Heart Medic in the classroom as a supplement to a unit about body systems and/or physical fitness. Kids can work in pairs or individually to complete tasks. Set aside about 10 minutes at the beginning or end of each lesson, allow kids to finish as many tasks as they can, and then discuss their experiences as a class. Discuss kids' personal experiences with heart health, diet, and exercise.

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Kids meet a friendly monster, Ragnar, who is suffering from a cardiovascular problem. Kids help Ragnar by completing a series of diagnostic tests to figure out what is causing the problem. They use a map to move from various places like a fitness center and a hospital, while earning achievements and awards for collecting medical items and completing tasks. Kids are occasionally required to complete arcade games, during which they collect coins and healthy foods while avoiding obstacles and unhealthy foods. Simulations teach kids about the effects of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Monster Heart Medic is an excellent supplementary resource for any life science or health curriculum. Kids can learn about cardiovascular health and tests that are typically done to diagnose heart problems. As they explore simulations, interact with virtual medical professionals, play arcade games, and earn achievements, kids learn about many issues related to heart health, including body temperature, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. The game teaches kids about factors that may contribute to heart problems, like family history, lack of exercise, and a diet high in fat and cholesterol. Kids learn how to make changes that will ultimately lead to a healthier heart and better overall fitness.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Real-world scenarios and arcade games with fun rewards will keep kids engaged as they run diagnostic tests and learn about the cardiovascular system.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids are empowered to make a diagnosis and help the main character with his heart problem. Learning progresses as kids complete portions of a health exam, receive the results, and move on to new tests.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

On-screen prompts help kids make their way through the adventure. Audio narration could help break up the on-screen text and assist kids who learn better by listening rather than reading.

Common Sense reviewer
Debbie Gorrell Educator

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