Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Rainforest Designer

Rainforest Designer

Spring 2001 Software
Ages: 7 - 12 yrs.
Price: $79.95
Platform: Windows
Review:
The larger hope is that learning about the rainforest will someday help to save it. The hybrid from Tom Snyder's previous "Diorama Designer" and its "Rainforest Researcher," this program empowers elementary-school students to design rainforest habitats they can print-out and assemble as 3-D dioramas (3-12 inches tall) or wall-size posters and murals. In creating their own rainforest ecosystems, choosing layers of the rainforest and adding selections from hundreds of animals, plants, objects and people to compose scenes, students learn about interaction of wildlife and about the culture and environment. Browsing through the Picture Gallery, kids get audio and visual accounts of 37 creatures, eight plants and numerous miscellaneous facts about the rainforest. Under the "Goodies" icon, there are 17 masks and props to print out and assemble, 3-D huts and vehicles kids can print-out and make into stand-alone objects to include in their diorama, plus 24 T-shirts, logos, certificates, stickers, etc. The program is designed for classroom use, however, and best used with a teacher leading related assignments, discussions and hands-on activities. It adapts to home use as an imaginative rainforest art-and-facts set, but hardly has the educational value to a child sitting alone at the computer. To see a sample habitat online, go to www.tomsnyder.com/classroom/rde/rdeexamplenet.asp/.
Don Oldenburg   ©2001 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Tom Snyder Productions
800-342-0236
http://www.tomsnyder.com

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