Assignment Discovery

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Assignment Discovery TV Poster Image
Teaching tool is more at home in school.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show's goal is to educate and inform. Some episodes discuss issues like slavery or war in a historical context.


Some episodes discuss war in a historical context.


Some episodes might touch oin science-related reproduction issues (animal reproduction, etc.).


The show promotes the Discovery Channel and feeds viewers to its Web site.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational series is specifically meant for use in the classroom. Topics include American history, Hans Christian Anderson stories, the Ice Age, ocean genetics, and many more. With their wide range of topics, some episodes are more appropriate for middle schoolers, while others are better for high school kids. Topics like slavery, animal reproduction, war, and religion, while handled deftly, might upset some viewers and/or prompt questions for parents.

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What's the story?

ASSIGNMENT DISCOVERY is an educational program specifically designed for middle and high school students. Covering a wide range of topics, the show methodically introduces students to concepts and ideas related to earth science, language arts, physics, history, and much more. Documentary film footage from the Discovery Channel library is enhanced by lesson plan material embedded into the program, such as topic questions and periodic breaks for student discussions about what they've learned so far. Experts such as scientists, writers, and explorers provide context and analysis throughout each program, and the show suggests resources so students can find out more about that episode's subject.

Is it any good?

For teachers or home-schooling parents, Assignment Discovery can be a great resource for teaching, especially since the Discovery Channel Web site provides lesson plans and other resources to accompany the episodes. Throughout the episodes, the narrator speaks slowly and clearly -- much like an ideal teacher -- as the screen displays the kind of top-notch footage that the Discovery Channel is known for. Those eager to learn about certain subjects might find the show fascinating even outside of school, but be forewarned that most adults -- and many teens -- will find the slow pace and simplistic language too dull to maintain their interest.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the topics the show covers. What did you learn? What did you already know? Was there anything in the episode that surprised you? Was there something you learned about that you'd like to research further? How will you go about doing that? Will you need help from a parent or teacher to find the information you want?

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