It’s Phun Phriday, and I wanted to share this heartwarming video of a man who is on a mission. We need more stories like this every day.
I recently read a post on We are Teachers by Erin Bittman (@) about how to use stuffed animals to teach STEM concepts. In the article, Bittman gives several examples of how students can practice measuring, weighing, and using other mathematical skills as they compare their stuffed animals. In addition, lessons can be learned about animal adaptations and habitats.
One reason I love these ideas is because I have seen the devotion that younger students have to their stuffed animals. With that kind of interest, students will definitely be engaged. The lesson give multiple opportunities for cross-curricular connections that will make the learning memorable and relevant to the students. Check out Bittman’s article for specific activities, and feel free to add more in the Comment section!
I have a “Stemspirational” Pinterest Board here if you are looking for even more resources.
My family and I have gotten a kick out of watching Will Ferrell’s debut as Stephen Colbert’s new animal expert on the Late Show. I’ve watched it four times now, and still can’t stop laughing. There are some very rare, fierce animals out there that are deceptively cute! If you need to smile this Phun Phriday, check out the video clip below.
For my Phun Phriday post this week, I am writing about an augmented reality app called Zookazam. There are actually 3 downloadable iPhone apps in this series: Zookazam Lite, Zookazam Pro, and Zookazam Zoo Atlanta. The first and 3rd are free. Zookazam Pro currently costs 99 cents. However, I think I got it for free one day through Apps Gone Free – as I somehow have it on my device and don’t remember paying for it.
All of the apps are iOS only. They are iPhone apps, but will work on the iPad as well. To use them, you need to print out the appropriate target page – based on which app you are trying to use.
With the Lite version, you will only be able to view one animal – a deer. Zoo Atlanta offers you 6 different animals: Lion, African Elephant, Zebra, Giraffe, Giant Panda, and Eastern Black Rhinoceros. The Pro version will give you more options, of course. It includes bugs. You can see all of the animals here.
Though I don’t usually offer education integration ideas on Phun Phriday posts, it might be a neat lesson to have students build habitats around a particular Zookazam creature.
Zookazam is a fun novelty. You can choose the weather conditions for your animal, and take photos of it enduring rain, snow, and cloudy days. What also distinguishes it from some of the other AR apps is that it gives you the opportunity to take video in the app. This allowed me to amuse myself by watching a few pandas cavort right in front of my bulldog’s nose…
The Ark in Space – A Compendium of Creatures is exactly that. If you have any students who are researching animals, or who have any kind of passion for them, this is the site for them. There are astounding photos and videos that will fascinate any nature lover. The articles are short, and certainly not as comprehensive as other sites, but many of them are unique to this site. For example, take a look at Synchronized Swimming in the Animal Kingdom, or Sea Slug Symphony for collections of stunning photographs that I doubt you will find anywhere else. Or, browse the small collection of videos, and you will find Two Unlikely Friends at the Zoo, a touching video that might bring a tear to your eye.
Photographs or videos from The Ark in Space are a sure way to grab the attention of your students!