2nd Graders Create Homophone Books

To go along with the homophone spelling unit, a second grade teacher asked if there was a digital way that we could make a homophone book. My go-to app is Book Creator and I felt like this would be perfect for the activity.

Prior to class, the students were given a set of homonyms. They were to create one sentence using all of the homonyms. On my part, I made a template in Book Creator and air dropped that to our lab iPads. When the students came in all they had to do was type in their sentence, illustrate the it, and record.

They had so much fun creating fabulous sentences.

And, their illustrations were amazing! This one was funny because her sentence originally had been written as, The four brown horses got some yolk on their yoke. After drawing two and realizing how much room that took, Annie came over to ask, “May I change this to two horses!”

After recording, the students came to me to air drop their book to my iPad so that I could create the class books. I absolutely LOVE working with Book Creator – easy to use and the students can do just about anything they want with all of its features. There are many others apps that we could use but Book Creator worked out perfectly for this project.

The teachers and I were very proud of how the books turned out. The students did such a great job with their illustrations and sentences.

Below are links to the books. These were saved in two formats – as an ePub book to be read in iBooks and as a video. We had so many students absent with the flu that not all children were able to make a page.

Directions to Download to iBooks:

  1. Click on the book link while on an iOS device (iPhone or iPad). It will not work on a Mac or PC.
  2. Choose Download.
  3. Choose Open in iBooks.

Mrs. Garcia’s Book and Video

Mrs. Shapard’s Book and Video

 

Explaining Homophones with Explain Everything

Mrs. Garcia, one of our second grade teachers, came to me a couple of weeks ago and asked that her students be introduced to the Explain Everything app. The other two classes had already used the app during a science unit and she had seen how powerful it is.

We talked for a bit, tossing around ideas and then Mrs. Garcia mentioned homophones, asking if that might be something that students could share using the app. What a perfect idea! The students were in week 2 of a two week spelling unit on homophones. We decided that the children would draw directly in Explain Everything, label the homophones, and record a sentence (and definitions for Mrs. Garcia’s class). Our other two second grade teachers also decided to have their students use the app to share knowledge of homophones.

Process:
Before coming to the lab, the students were assigned a homophone pair (or trio). They wrote a sentence using the words and sketched a drawing on paper of what they would do in the app.

When the students came to the lab, we set up the new Explain Everything page, starting with their name and then saving. Because we have shared iPads, I have the students save this way: Class # + Teacher’s Initial + student name + project name. It seems long but really isn’t! (i.e. 21G Karen homophones)

Next we discussed how to draw – how to change the pen tip and width as well as the pen color.

Illustrating the homophones

Illustrating the homophones

As the students completed their drawings, they were asked to label the homophones.

Next, we talked about the how-to of recording and re-recording if necessary. However, before recording, we discussed the laser pointers. We wanted the students to use these to highlight the correct homophone as the sentence was read.

Recording went fairly smoothly. Some students discovered it’s a bit tricky to read, record, and highlight; all at the same time. But, they easily solved that issue – they asked another student to work the laser as they read the sentence!

After recording, the children learned how to save the video to the camera roll then they air dropped it to me. I combined the videos into class movies using iMovie and uploaded to Vimeo.

Mrs. Garcia’s Class

Mrs. Cooper’s Class

Mrs. Shapard’s Class

Tips and Other Things I Learned!

  • Use the students for peer tutoring – the child appreciates the opportunity to help and it is an invaluable aid to the teacher!
  • The “add page” icon is right under the select symbol in EE and is very easy to hit, especially on the smaller iPad minis. We had to really watch to make sure the students had only ONE page! I think the record number of blank pages was 7!!
  • Note to self: Remember to tell the students to use the laser pointer as they record! I completely forgot to do that with one class so we had a do-over.
  • I do NOT recommend the “light saber” pointer. Wow – does that make a lot of noise!

The students did a fantastic job with this project and enjoyed sharing their knowledge in a new way.