Friday, December 6, 2013

Walking With Dinosaurs - Games and Apps

Walking With Dinosaurs is a new movie coming to theaters soon. Based on the trailers I've seen online it looks like a movie that kids will enjoy. The producers of the film have released a free iPad app, a free Android app, and a simple online game to support the movie. The online game is nothing special, it's just a matching activity, but the apps are worth noting.

The Walking With Dinosaurs apps use a bit of augmented reality to take students on a virtual walk with dinosaurs. To use the apps you have to print out the "targets" that when scanned reveal a dinosaur's story. The apps also allow your students to include pictures of themselves in settings with the dinosaurs that they learn about through the app. Watch the video below for a preview of the apps.


Applications for Education
During the holiday break you may have students that see Walking With Dinosaurs in theaters. When they come back from the vacation you might capitalize on their interest in the movie by using these free apps as part of lesson about dinosaurs.

Here are a few more resources for teaching about dinosaurs.
The Natural History Museum hosts a directory of names, facts, and figures for more than 300 dinosaurs. One of the ways that you can search through the database is by country. Select the "in your country" option to find the dinosaurs that may have roamed the land in what is now your country. The search results will display a grid of drawings the types of dinosaurs in your country. Click on the images to learn more the dinosaurs.

The Canadian Museum of Nature hosts a good collection of online games and animations about mammals, birds, and dinosaurs. A few of the games and animations are Canada-specific, but those and all of the others have a broad appeal. In the fossils section of the site I viewed an animation through which I learned how horned dinosaurs ate their food.

The following video from Untamed Science teaches us a bit about how dinosaur skeletons are reconstructed.