Bring Literacy to Life with Technology!

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Sometimes I wish I were a kid growing up in this digital world. I think I would understand math concepts better and I’d have so many resources at my fingertips. I also think using technology allows children to be creative in ways they couldn’t before. Here’s a fun literacy project that I did with second graders this week and they LOVED it. It really was so much fun. When kids have this much fun, they don’t even realize that they are learning! I love reading the book the Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg to my students. If you haven’t read it, it is a book where the letters of the alphabet take center stage and all of the letters have something happen to them that they probably would’t prefer. For example, A was in an avalanche. We discuss the pattern in the book and what the term alliteration means.

I usually have them do some type of digital project that coincides with the book, but this year, I decided to change it up a bit. I read the book aloud to the students and then I distributed a different letter of the alphabet for them to do their own “page” of the book on the iPad. For this project, we used two apps: Drawing Pad (paid)  (You could use any drawing app as long as it saves to the camera roll) and Chatterpix Kids (free). When the kids have their letter, they are instructed to draw something happening to their letter. It’s pretty fun to see what they come up with. They save their drawing to their camera roll and then open up Chatterpix Kids. Chatterpix Kids is an app where you can make a picture have a mouth with a voice. The kids import their drawing into Chatterpix Kids and draw a mouth and read a sentence just like the book. From there, they can save that to their camera roll and link to their blogs or the teacher can share their finished products. So fun. See some examples below:

The Z Was Zapped Literacy Project from April Requard on Vimeo.



App Showcase: Drawing Pad and Wordfoto

I love when you can use one or more apps together (app smash) to create an awesome project. An amazing colleague of mine and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, Sue Gorman, asked me if I’d showcase an app for her to use at one of her presentations. It was hard to decide, but came up with this one. Drawing Pad is a great drawing app with so many options for creating and sharing. Wordfoto is one of my favorite apps and the possibilities are truly endless for creating word clouds on top of photos. In this case, kids were studying parts of speech and synonyms and antonyms. For this particular project, they were given a common word and had to come up with at least 5 synonyms for the word. They wrote the word in Drawing Pad and made the word come to life. Saving it to the camera roll, they could then import that photo into Wordfoto. In Wordfoto, they can enter the text for the synonyms and insert into picture. Wordfoto has a variety of preset styles or you can customize your own style. Here is the video I put together, which includes some student examples.



Drawing Pad