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Monster Heart Medic
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.
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.