Unfortunately for Australians, the ‘top’ of our earth sandwich ‘bottom’ is going to be mid-Atlantic Ocean, although Perth ALMOST matches Bermuda (missed it by ‘that’ much!) and some parts of New Zealand just squeeze in, with their ‘tops’ in Spain.
Even if Aussies can only be part of an open sandwich, the concept is a fun one to explore with students.
Which countries are on opposite sides of the Earth?
The Three Billy Goats Gruff story lends itself marvelously for drama explorations. With only two characters ‘on-stage’ at any one time it’s also ideal for small-group puppetry. This download is a set of character silhouettes that are ideal for use as shadow puppets. Just cut the shapes out, glue on sticks and away you go. Students could also make additional scenery (eg. the entire valley) to expand the basic lesson setup.
My current middle school performing arts unit is on Film Sound and traditionally students demonstrate their knowledge of Foley sound by recording a short video and adding sound effects to it.
This year we’ve utilised the rich diversity that is youtube and made use of the many silent movies, musicless videos and bad-lip reading videos available.
PS. Please watch the sample videos below before using with your students.
There’s any number of silent-movie era films on youtube. The Charlie Chaplain films are particularly useful with clear, well-defined action and readily followed plots.
My students practised their Foley skills by creating sound effects live as the video played on a laptop. The video and sounds were recorded for playback on an iPod. A little crude but quick and surprisingly effective.
Musicless Music Videos
It’s easier to explain this new mashed up genre by watching one. But for a short explanation:
Select a music video.
Remove the music soundtrack.
Add sound effects as appropriate.
Similar to the Musicless Music Videos, but with dialogue rather than sound effects:
Select a short scene from a film, sports training video or TV show.
Remove the soundtrack.
Re-dub the dialog with words and phrases that match the lip movements of the actors, but which are funnier.
What it is: an iPad app for introducing programming concepts. Who it’s for: F-2 students (or older students with no programming background) Australian Curriculum link: “Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems.” (ACTDIP004)
This little (and free) introduction-to-programming app has lots going for it.
It’s aimed at absolute beginners.
You can play in free-play mode or challenge mode.
If students can read the words ‘move’, ‘turn’ or ‘grow’ they can program.
Download from the app store onto your iPad.
Jump into Challenge Mode.
Complete the first challenge; use the ‘move’ command to make Daisy move across the screen to hit the star.
Well done! You’ve made your first program!
There are only a few challenges but they do introduce sequencing and the use of a ‘repeat’ command. Back in free-play mode you have just seven (blue) commands to play with; limiting but not overwhelming.
Move: select forward or backward.
There are are also two pink commands:
You can drag blue commands onto the pink ‘repeat 5’ command and it … repeats that command 5 times. Drag blue commands onto the pink ‘when’ command and they will only be executed when Daisy is tapped or the iPad is shaken.
The Three Pigs is a wonderfully rich starting point for a technology and design unit. Students can investigate house plans, material strength, hinges and how they work, cooking utensils, wolf-trap making and lots more!
Here’s the unit sheet for the Year 2 topic I taught, complete with simple rubric and parental explanation.
My first attempts at creating an animated visual of a journey (some 15 years ago) were laborious and frustrating and involved taking multiple screenshots of a small plane graphic as I moved it across a blurry background map.
My favourite though was the easy-as to use Tripline.
The web interface is easy to navigate, and creating an animated map is straightforward:
Create an account. (Facebook login is an option)
Create a new map.
Add waypoints and locations. (Click on the map, search by name or add by decimal point latitude / longitude)
Add descriptions and photographs. (The photo upload is VERY well implemented)
Share your map. (I’ve added Tripline to our school website and Facebook page).
The completed project is slick, thoughtfully designed and presented and a easy for the casual user to use.
I’d highly recommend this online resource for classroom use. With the only downside being the registration requirements, Triplien could easily find a place in Geography and History lessons mapping out migration patterns, historic journeys or imaginary trips. The diary interface also suggests use in literacy lessons, whilst the ability to export distances suggests use in numeracy work.
You probably won’t need much hand-holding, but there are some excellent resources available: