3-12, Apps, Education, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Writing

Haiku Deck

figurative language slide created with Haiku Deck, quote from Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt

Many of you are probably familiar with the iPad app, Haiku Deck (options for editing on the web are coming soon).  It can be used to create presentations (similar to Powerpoint, but more graphically appealing, in my opinion), and is very user-friendly.

One of the things that I like about Haiku Deck is that it does not allow you to add huge blocks of text to your slides.  This is good because too much text makes for a very boring presentation. (Take a look at “What Would Steve Do”, #3 as supporting evidence for this.)  I also like the ease with which you can find images to punctuate your text.

My 4th graders are reading Tuck Everlasting, and discussing the figurative language in the book.  Usually, when I first introduce figurative language, I ask them to find examples for each type (simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and personification), and share with the class to show their understanding so I can quickly gauge if there is a need for more instruction.

Yesterday, I thought, “Why don’t I let them type their examples in Haiku Deck?  Then they can learn the app, and show what they know about figurative language at the same time.”  And, yes, I was in the middle of the lesson when I thought of that.  To be honest, I’ve done the lesson for so many years, I was boring myself – which does not usually bode well for keeping the student’s attention.

In 5 minutes, I was able to show the students how to create a slide, add text, select an image, and share the product.  Once all of the products were in, we played a quick game to identify the type of figurative language as I showed each example on the big screen.

While they were working with their partners, I heard one student say, “I love doing this!”

I love that they were engaged and learning, and all it cost me was about 10 minutes more than the previous times I’ve taught that lesson. Now, they have a new digital tool in their belt that they can choose from when they write their own examples of figurative language.

slide created with Haiku Deck
slide created with Haiku Deck, quote from Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
Apps, Art, Augmented Reality, Fun Friday, Games, K-5, Motivation, Student Products, Teaching Tools

colAR App Pumpkin Page

Augmented Pumpkins with the colAR app
Augmented Pumpkins with the colAR app

UPDATE 10/12/2021: This particular page is no longer available, and colAR is now QuiverVision. However, you can still download an augmented reality pumpkin page here (do a search for Halloween once you reach the page, and you should see two downloads.  Unfortunately, they are no longer free).

I tweeted about this a couple of days ago (Don’t follow me, yet?  Please do!  @terrieichholz), but I was so excited that I tweeted an uncolored page.  Knowing today would be Phun Phriday, I decided to spend last night making a more presentable page for blog purposes.  I wanted to get a sample from one of my students, but they haven’t had time, what with all of their bumping into walls and doing victory dances this week.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of entertaining yourself with the colAR app, yet, I strongly urge you to download it right away.  It is available on both mobile platforms for free.  The free version allows you to augment certain coloring pages, and there is an in-app purchase of $2.99 to unlock the rest of the pages.  However, the new pumpkin page is free.  Just make sure, if you already have the app, that you have the most updated version.

colAR allows you to download coloring pages from their website, then scan them with the app to make them “come to life.”  They created a special Dot Day page that I blogged about earlier this year.

If you haven’t used colAR with your students before, I highly recommend you have them color a page first, and then surprise them with the augmented reality version.  If you do it in the reverse order they may, like me, rush through their coloring just to get to the digital fun.

Drew Minock and Brad Waid over at Two Guys and Some iPads have used colAR to inspire creative writing with their students.  Once the students see their pumpkins dancing around, I’m sure the kids could come up with some unique stories!

There are a lot of pumpkins on the sheet, so you might have kids work on the sheets in groups – each coloring their own pumpkin.  For older kids, you could have them design the pumpkins to represent mystery historical characters or different artists and/or art styles.  In a modification of this idea that I just saw on Not Just Child’s Play (which she attributes to Ian Byrd), you could have them decorate the pumpkins from the perspective of different book characters.

I know many of you don’t celebrate Halloween, but be sure to check out some of the other pages offered by colAR.  The novelty will definitely “hook” your students, spark their imaginations, and motivate them to think creatively.

Brad Waid's Augmented Reality Inspired Creative Writing Bulletin Board
Brad Waid’s (1 of the 2 Guys and Some iPads) Augmented Reality Inspired Creative Writing Bulletin Board