Kinder Students Create Animal Books

After a couple of weeks learning all kinds of fantastic animal information, I asked the little ones to illustrate and tell about their favorite animal. Since they had learned about classifications, I also asked that they tell what the animal was and whether it was a mammal, fish, bird, etc and why.

We used the Book Creator app for this project. It’s the perfect app for students to illustrate, write, and record – all in one place. To show how intuitive this app is, this was the first time the kindergarteners had used Book Creator. In a 30 minute session, they were able to learn the basics, draw their picture, record, AND airdrop their book to me! Pretty amazing!

After deciding that dinosaurs and unicorns weren’t the best choice for this particular book, the students began their illustrations. They did such a fabulous job filling up the page with their animal and adding details that showed its habitat.

As students finished drawing, they scattered to find a quiet place to record. Some even wrote a script before recording!

The final step was to airdrop to me so that I could combine all individual books into one class book.

As I listened to the pages, I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the recordings. Did you know that, “A pig is the most rare animal in the world?” and “Humpback whales can weigh over 300 million pounds?” One boy remarked, “My cow looks orange and they are supposed to be brown and actually black. I know that but I couldn’t find the brown. I’m sorry. So let’s just deal with it as a cow! Okay?” So, not all the facts are quite correct but they really had LOTS of information in their heads and shared it the best they could! ūüôā

Here are links to their books. Enjoy!

 

 

Kinder Shares What they Know about Animals

Collaboration with teachers is SO much fun! Our kinder students just started learning about animals and their teachers wanted to have the students share their learning by creating videos.

A few weeks ago, Tony Vincent visited our school and taught a first grade lesson using the website, Unite for Literacy. Although the book choice isn’t huge on this site, there are several animal books. The nice thing is that students can choose to listen to the book as they read so they don’t get bogged down with harder vocabulary.

We decided to split the lesson into two 30 minute parts since there was quite a bit involved. Students needed to read their story. Then, they were to use ChatterPix Kids (free) to tell about their animal.

For the first session, we started with practicing how to take a screen shot since we wanted a photo of a favorite picture from the book to upload to ChatterPix. Next, the students were given an animal card with a QR code that took them directly to the book they were to read. Once scanned, we went on a picture walk through the book – we didn’t take time to read or listen to the story. The goal was to find a favorite image and screen shot it. Then, we asked the children to listen to the story two times. Each child received a piece of paper where they could write the name of their animal and jot down facts they wanted to share. You should have seen the little ones taking notes!

The next day the students returned to the iLab. Armed with their notes and iPads, we walked through the ChatterPix for Kids app, getting everyone to the point where their photo from the previous day was uploaded and ready to record.

For this project, we only allowed students to add their name. Kids can get carried away with the stickers available in ChatterKid. Since those served no purpose, they were off-limits for the day!

After all the videos had been airdropped to me, I pulled them into Thinglink, onto a map where I tried to place the link where the animal lived. Thinglink is a fabulous way to add links, annotations, videos, etc to an image.

Here are links to the Thinglinks for the other two classes:

Our two sessions were super busy but the students were amazing in how they approached the task – listening intently to learn about their animal and then sharing what they learned. I was able to take several photos from Mrs. Rea’s class to show the process of what the children did.¬†

Virtual Owl Pellets and More!

After spending the week learning about the animal kingdom, the kindergarten students visited the lab last Friday to examine some interactive activities. I had several links available:

  • Variations – from BBC (categorizing pictures by bird, mammal, insect, or plant)
  • Walk, Swim, or Fly – from Harcourt School (place an animal in its proper environment)
  • Build a Habitat – from Switcheroo Zoo (design a habitat for an animal and see if it can survive)
  • Design an Animal – also from Switcheroo Zoo¬†(create a unique animal, take its photo, then print with information about the new creature)
  • Build a Fish – from MARE: Marine Activities, Resources, & Education (Choose an ocean habitat,¬†select body parts and colorations that you think will help your fish survive, then click the “Survive-O-Meter” to check its status.)
  • Make a Tide Pool –¬†¬†from Monterey Bay Aquarium (choose animals that live in a tide pool)¬†
  • Build a Bug – from Scholastic (use the bug parts in Ms Frizzle’s lab to build a bug found in nature or create a new one)
  • Virtual Owl Pellets – from KidWings¬†(owl pellet dissection without the mess)

These are all fun, educational resources but I especially like the¬†Virtual Owl Pellets site. Some of the students had already done their real owl pellet dissection and the others will do that within the next few days, so this was the perfect site for the students to either review or prepare for their hands-on dissection. The funniest part of this website is when a¬†mouse crawls across the screen, sits and looks around halfway across, then continues to saunter to the other side. I had told the students to be on the lookout for a surprise but didn’t tell them what it would be. It was hilarious listening to the squeals as the rodent appeared on the screens. One little girl kept pushing her chair back as if trying to distance herself from the mouse! I highly recommend this site!!