Telling Stories about Farm Animals

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Animalstories.jpg
Children using technology on a visit to a local farm

Lesson idea. This lesson idea involves the use of mobile digital technology with a class of nursery school children. The children were taken on a visit to Heeley City Farm in Sheffield (http://www.heeleyfarm.org.uk). The aim of the visit was to give the children first-hand experience of farm animals, and to develop their speech and language skills. While 'on location' they were encouraged to take photos, using the mobile technology, and to record their thoughts using voice recording apps. Prior to the visit, the children had practised these digital skills using plastic animals in a toy farmyard, enabling them to learn how to take photos and to rehearse the relevant vocabulary involved. During the visit, children also had access to some iPads and used the 'Brushes' app to draw their own pictures of some of the animals[1]. On their return to the classroom, the children were encouraged to tell stories about the animals, using the pictures as prompts. These stories were then typed up or recorded by the teachers.

A blog was produced to host the children's pictures: http://www.sharrow.sheffield.sch.uk/blog/

Teaching approach. This activity uses technology and the development of e-skills(topic) in young children, in order to create opportunities for speaking and listening, and language(ta) development. The specific trip provided a great stimulus for the children's stories. Equally, however, this approach could be applied to any trip or event in or out of school. The use of a blog(tool) gave the opportunity for children to share their ideas with a wider audience, and also gave opportunities for real-time feedback on their work. The use of hand-held technology also enabled active learning(ta) as the portability of the iPads and cameras allowed them to be used outside the classroom, on the farm. The accessibility of the technology meant that this activity promoted inclusion(ta) and the visual nature of the photos and pictures was used effectively to help extend the children's vocabulary(ta). (edit)

Resource details
Title Telling Stories about Farm Animals
Topic E-skills,  Blogs
Teaching approach
Learning Objectives

To use technology develop speaking and listening skills

Subject
Age of students / grade
Additional Resources/material needed

iPads, Pod Touch, camera

Related ORBIT Wiki Resources
Files and resources to view and download

This lesson idea comes from the DEFT case study The use of mobile apps for digital story-telling with nursery pupils. The whole case study is available for reading and downloading here: http://www.digitalfutures.org/index.php/case-studies/schools/sharrow-primary/