Featured Post

Virtual Forest Challenge

    What it is:   Scholastic and Nature’s Source have teamed up to create the Virtual Forest Challenge game to help students understand how their actions have real implications in local and global ecosystems.  The game leads students through a variety of virtual environments and along the way asks them to make decisions about how they would act in the ecosystem they are in.  If students answer correctly (make the correct decision) they continue in the game.  If they answer incorrectly, they are offered the correct answer accompanied by an explanation. How to integrate Virtual Forest Challenge into the classroom:   Virtual Forest Challenge would be a good site to use in conjunction with Earth Day.  However, since the principals of Earth Day are valid year round, it can be used any time throughout the year.  This would be a great challenge to take on as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector.  As students make decisions in the virtual world, discuss why one option is better for the ecosystem than another.  Virtual Forest Challenge would also be a good challenge for students to take on solo in the computer lab setting.     Tips:  Visit the Teacher Resource section for some great accompanying lesson plans and resources.  Here you will find a Community Planting guide, a Community Planting poster, a lesson plan about the delicate balance between people and the ecosystems we are a part of, and a lesson about Our Community Past Present and Future.

Read More

Addison Tales: Ignite Your Student’s Imagination

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Create, Evaluate, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 17-10-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6

Addison Tales: Activate your student's imagination in descriptive writing

What it is: Addison Tales is an interesting interactive site that asks your students to contribute content.  This ongoing competition challenges students to invent an imaginative story character for Addison’s Tales.  When students visit the site, they will be introduced to Mr. Cornelius Addison.  If students click on the sparkly stars, they can visit the story’s characters.  When students click on Mr. Cornelius Addison, they will be taken to a story called “The Dream”.  The story is about Mack’s wild and imaginative store where he sells characters.  The story urges students to add characters to the store and then to “trap” their characters inside finished stories so that they don’t just remain figments of the imagination.  When students create their own characters, they make them “real” like the solid characters in the cottage that can be discovered inside the apps that are available from Addison tales in the app store.  The challenge is for students to write and draw interesting characters.

How to integrate Addison Tales into your classroom:  I think the way that Addison Tales combines technology, writing, drawing, story and imagination is brilliant!  Read “The Dream” with your students using classroom computers, an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  For those of you with iPads in the classroom, “The Dream” is also available as a free app.  After reading the story, talk about the types of characters described in “The Dream.”  This is a great way to get your students thinking about description and imagery!  Ask students to write down the adjectives and descriptive words that they remember from the story.  Students can choose a character from the story to draw.  For a fun class activity, invite students to all draw the same character and see what similarities and differences exist between student drawings.  (This can lead to some fun discussion about artistic license!) 

After students try their hand at describing characters from the story, they can work on creating their own character.  Students should think carefully about word choice and imagery.  Through December (2013) Addison Tales is running a competition where students can submit their characters.  Each week, Mr. Addison will frame a select number of characters on his wall with the artist’s nickname, country and character name for everyone to see.  At the end of the month, one of the most curious of the characters submitted will be turned into a plush toy and sent to the lucky artist.  Pretty great reward!

Tips: The contest portion runs every month through the end of December.  Even without the contest, the site offers a great way to introduce your kids to descriptive writing and imagery!

What do you think of Addison Tales?  How do you plan to use it in your classroom?

Comments (6)

Addison Tales would be incredibly motivating in the classroom. I am always looking for new ways to inspire my second graders to explore their creativity and let their imaginations run wild. They are so used to writing non-fiction stories, that when it comes time to write fiction stories, they have trouble coming up with that initial idea. Addison Tales would help jump start their minds and guide them in creating descriptive characters and intriguing story plots.

I really like the contest component to this website. It gives students a chance to showcase their best work and teaches them to take pride in what they produce. The website itself evokes mystery and curiosity. Even though the content of The Dream may be a bit advanced for second graders, I can already envision ways of adapting it to make it something they understand and want to take part in. Thanks for a great post!

Hi,

I like Addison Tales to a certain extent. I feel that it is limited in the sense that it would only be useful to a certain age group(elementary students). However it contributes a lot to that particular age group as listed above. This post was very informative and definitely something fun for today’s student.

Thanks,
Nathalie

One lovely aspect not mentioned above is the musical component of Addison’s Tales. If you click on little Vincent the mouse leaning out of his mousehole, you will find that he hands out the sheet music from Addison’s Tales. Kids can turn their tablets vertically and place them on the music stand to play directly from the screen. If music teachers want to motivate their (probalby more advanced) students further, they can record class recitals and upload to youtube, then send a link to the given email address. Vincent will rig his projector to showcase the recital. The good thing is that the tunes are actually very catchy (in an Irish kind of way), so the kids should defintely have a lot of fun here too.

Love that! I missed it on my first visit. Thanks JB!

Write a comment

*