Yesterday I had the kids using the new iPad 2’s. We’re reading Keeper by Mal Peet which goes back and forth between two settings; The Amazon Rainforest and San Juan, Argentina.
I posted questions on Edmodo relating to character development, foreshadowing, Character Motives, and Figurative Language. Students accessed the questions and turned in the assignment via the Edmodo app.
Afterwards, students were given some “directive play”. I knew they would have extra time and since some of them had never held an iPad before I wanted them to continue to familiarize themselves with the operating system and the general feel of the iPad. Students were asked to launch the Google Earth app and zoom in to the Amazon Rainforest and look at the photos that were posted. For comparison, they were then asked to pan to San Juan, Argentina. They were to take notes on the distance between the two settings, and to take notes on the clear contrast of the two settings (one a lush rainforest and the other a major metropolis).
The last part of the “directive play” was for the students to launch Safari and perform a Google search for images. The keyword combinations they were suggested were, “Amazon rainforest bugs”, “Amazon rainforest wildlife”, and “Amazon rainforest logging”...all of which pertained to the chapters the students had read the day before…something to give them a realistic visual of what kinds of things the main character was seeing and talking about when he walked through the jungle.
The students were highly engaged because they were using an attractive and innovative tool to prove what they had learned from their reading…but the level of engagement was also high because they were simply EXPLORING new things; the tool itself and a far off land.
--Post by Geoff Crosson