5 ideas for teaching about Halloween using apps and mobile devices

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  • 1.5 ideas for teaching about Halloweenusing apps and mobile devicesKim Ashmore, Director and Co-Founder, LearnAhead Ltd Copyright 2011, LearnAhead

2. 5 ideas for teaching about Halloween usingapps and mobile devicesHere are some ideas for teaching words for Halloween orabout the topic of Halloween using apps and mobiledevices. The ideas are aimed at the EFL/ESL young learnerclassroom but can be adapted to other contexts.1. Learn Halloween words2. Draw a monster3. Play a game4. Learn some weird facts5. Stories for Halloween 2 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 3. 1. Learn Halloween wordsFirst Words Halloween is aimed at young children, and would be great forthe EFL/ESL classroom. In this simple app, children see a picture (of a witchfor example), and drag letters to make the word. When children touch aletter (or the picture) they hear the name of the letters, or the word. Theillustrations are appealing, and the app would be useful for children who arelearning to read in English.App: First Words HalloweenPlatform: iOSCost: 1.49/$1.993 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 4. 1. Learn Halloween wordsWord Carrot is a useful app for learning key words in British and AmericanEnglish. The app is suitable for all ages, and in it, users see a word, hear aword, and then try to spell the word by touching the letters before time runsout. Level 1 (with the first 90 words) is free. Players can buy more words inLevels 2 and 3. Level 3 contains ten words for the topic of Halloween. Usingan IWB, this is a fun game to play with a group of learners.Print a Halloween matching gamePrint a Halloween puzzlePrint a Halloween poemApp: Word Carrot UK / Word Carrot USPlatform: iOSCost: In-app purchase Level 3 (0.69p/$0.99)4 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 5. 2. Draw a monsteriLuv Drawing Monsters helps children draw, colourand decorate 20 different monsters. The app would begreat for cross-curricular work, helping children todevelop confidence in art, and also to developlanguage around colours and descriptions (and parts ofthe body). Children can print the monster theycreate, so you could make a monster book forexample; or children could describe their monsters toeach other.App: iLuv Drawing Monsters HDPlatform: iOSCost: 0.69/$0.99 5 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 6. 3. Play a gameHere are two fun games that older learners might enjoy either in the classroom as group games using the IWB forexample or at home.The first is Halloween Chicktionary Lite. This is achallenging word game that would be appropriate forolder learners (the free version has adverts). Seven trick-or-treating hens give you letters which players use to makeas many words as possible.App: Halloween Chicktionary LitePlatform: iOSCost: Free6 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 7. 3. Play a gameI SPY Spooky Mansion would be a great game for older kids. With thisapp, players enter a spooky mansion, and have to find 7 keys hidden aroundthe place. Players visit different parts of the mansion (the study, the graveyardetc), and solve riddles and puzzles, looking for hidden objects. Children wouldneed to understand the English text in the game, but the game could alsoprovide plenty of practice in talking about directions and locations, and alsosuggestions (Lets have a look over here).You can see a video of the game here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQdwNEi1kg0App: I SPY Spooky MansionPlatform: iOS / WindowsCost: 0.69 / $0.997 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 8. 4. Learn some weird factsDid you know that slugs have 3.000 teeth and four noses? Weird But True isan app with more than 300 facts about the world all of them weird but true.The app is from the National Geographic, so all of the facts are appropriateand interesting for children, and the facts are illustrated well, helping learnersto understand the language. Theres also a weird-o-meter where childrencan vote on the weirdness of each fact could be a fun feature for theclassroom!This app would provide some great material for quizzes (children could makepredictions about the facts before they see them, for example, guessing howmany teeth slugs have!); or could be used as a springboard for children toresearch their own weird but true facts. There is a lot of useful stuff on theNational Geographic Kids website worth having a look:http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/8 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 9. 4. Learn some weird facts App: Weird But True Platform: iOS Cost: 1.49 / $1.999 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 10. 5. Stories for HalloweenThere are many, many storybook apps on themarket, especially for younger children. Here is a greatmonster story for Halloween, and not too scary! Theebook is highly interactive, and meanings are madeclear by the illustrations and the interactions.Go Away, Big Green Monster (by Ed Emberley) usessimple language, and helps children to deal with fears.First, the monster is built up on screen, then thechildren can remove him bit by bit (its also great forteaching parts of the body and adjectives). Children canlisten to the author or a friend reading the story, theycan read it at their own pace, or they can sing along.Have a look at this video of the app to get a better idea:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVIDTfwGuwI10 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 11. 5. Stories for HalloweenGo Away, Big Green Monster is also a popular paper book, and there arelots of ideas for using the story and the topic in the classroom on theinternet, many of which could be adapted for learners of English. Forexample:A very simple song called Go Away, Big Green Monster with flashcards todownload and print:http://supersimplelearning.com/songs/original-series/one/go-away/A page full of ideas for using the story in class:http://pinterest.com/evelynsaenz/go-away-big-green-monster-activities/App: Go Away, Big Green Monster!Platform: iOSCost: 1.99 / $2.9911 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 12. 5. Stories for HalloweenOlder learners might enjoy telling or writing spooky stories for Halloween, andthe Spooky Story Dice app could be a great way to get kids creative juicesflowing. Roll the dice, and get lots of different ideas for a scary story. Childrencan use the ideas to tell stories at a spooky storytelling event; to recordthemselves telling the stories; or to write or illustrate their stories for a classspooky story book.Your children could also make some spooky story dice. Have a look at theseimages to print on the Land of Me website:http://www.thelandofme.com/blog/2010/10/23/make-me-spooky-story-dice.htmlApp: Spooky Story DicePlatform: iOSCost: 1.49 / $1.9912 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 13. 5. Stories for HalloweenAnother stimulus for creative writing or storytelling could be provided with ascary sounds app. There are a number of apps that provide these for free, butwatch out for adverts, and also check sounds beforehand some of them canbe quite scary. You may prefer to be in control of these apps, or use them witholder children. Ask your learners to close their eyes, then play some sounds.Learners can write or talk about what they imagined as they heard thenoises, and then create a story, perhaps in pairs or groups.App: Scary SoundsPlatform: iOSCost: FreeApp: Horror SoundsPlatform: AndroidCost: Free13 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead 14. 5 ideas for teaching about Halloween usingapps and mobile devicesThere are a lot of apps on the market related to Halloweenand I have chosen just a few. Take a look at Shelley Terrellsgreat blog post from 2011 which talks about 18 educationalapps for Halloween:http://shellyterrell.com/2011/10/17/18-educational-apps-for-halloween/Have you got any more ideas to share? Then share them at :http://wordcarrot.com/5-ideas-for-teaching-about-the-topic-of-halloween-using-apps-and-mobile-devices/Thank you!Kim Ashmore, LearnAhead Ltd. 14 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead