Tuesday, May 19, 2015

App Smashing: Using 3 Apps to Create a Virtual Food Chain

Sometimes one app just doesn't cut it, you know? Combining two or more apps into one project is called "app smashing." Here is how my 3rd grade students used 3 apps to create a virtual food chain:

Step 1: Think of a food chain. My third graders had been studying barn owls -- their adaptations, their prey and predators, and their owl pellets. For this lesson, my students were instructed to create at least a 4-step food chain.

Step 2: Open drawing desk. (I prefer "doodle desk" or "kids desk" mode.) Draw the first step of the food chain, save it to the camera roll, and then make your way to a blank screen in Drawing Desk. (Learn more about Drawing Desk by reading this blog post.) Draw all 4 parts of your food chain this way, making sure to include only one energy source/plant/animal in each picture.

Drawing Desk (free)
Step 3: Open Shadow Puppet Edu. Each of the 4 pictures students just drew in Drawing Desk and saved should be in the camera roll. Students should load each of the 4 pictures into a Shadow Puppet Edu slideshow in the correct order. Use the narration feature to record your voice on each picture, telling us what the item is, if it's a producer or consumer, and if it's a carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore.

So, for example, we might hear these narrations:

  • First slide: "This is the sun. It is the energy source for the plant, so it is not a producer or a consumer."
  • Second slide: "This is grass. It is a producer because it uses the sun's energy to make its own food." 
  • Third slide: "This is a grasshopper. Its prey in this food chain is the grass. It is a consumer and an herbivore."
...and so on. :)

Shadow Puppet Edu (free)

Step 4: Export the Shadow Puppet Edu show to Seesaw and submit under your name. 

Seesaw: The Learning Journal (free)

I think the kids had a good time "app smashing" to make our digital food chains, and I love that the creation process allows me to see each child's personality in their work! Here's one example of the work I received:



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