Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Last-minute Round-up of Educational Halloween Activities

Halloween is less than 24 hours away. If you're in need of some educational activities with a Halloween-theme, take a look at the resources summarized below. All of these resources have appeared in individual posts in the past.

On Storyboard That you can now turn your storyboards into Halloween cards. In the Storyboard That creator you can use the myths and mystical scenes and characters to create your Halloween story. Once your storyboard is saved you can choose to print it with Halloween borders. The print-out includes lines for cutting and folding your cards. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create Halloween cards on Storyboard That.

Earlier this month BoomWriter released new Halloween-themed vocabulary lesson plans that you can conduct through their free WordWriter service. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. The new Halloween-themed lesson plans include pre-made lists of Halloween-themed words for your students to use in the writing assignment that you distribute to them. You can find BoomWriter tutorial videos here.

The Pit and the Pendulum is available as an interactive comic book created by Poe in the Pit. If you view the comic book online you can click symbols within it to open videos, additional images, and additional background and analysis of Poe's work. If you choose to print the comic book you can us the QR codes embedded within it to access the videos, images, and additional info on your mobile device.

Number Chase - Math vs. Zombies is a free iPad game with a Halloween theme. The game is has three virtual worlds each containing ten levels of basic math problems. The object of the game is to correctly solve as many math problems as possible before the zombies catch you. The math of the game is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Scholastic offers a variety of Halloween-themed activities for elementary school students. The Halloween Tooth: Max's Math Adventure is a math activity for K-2 students. In the activity students read and listen to a poem about Halloween candy then complete a set of activities in which they make patterns and count candy. Halloween Web Hunt is a simple web quest for students in grades three through five. The activity has students visit a virtual museum and online libraries to answer questions about mummies, bats, and Halloween history. Writing Mysteries provides a template and walks elementary school students through the process of writing mystery stories.

Halloween Magazine offers a safety game for students. The game is designed to teach students to recognize safe and unsafe situations while they're out trick 'o treating.

ABCya is currently featuring a half dozen Halloween-themed activities for elementary school students. Ghost Typing is a typing game in which students have to type words appearing on the screen in order to bust the ghosts. The words that appear on the screen are Halloween-themed words like ghoul, pumpkin, and orange.

Smarty Games offers Halloween Math. In Halloween Math students move a ghost to catch the answers to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.

Disclosure: Storyboard That and BoomWriter are currently advertisers on this blog. 

Youngzine Offers a Safe Online Place for Students to Discuss Current Events

A few years ago I featured Youngzine as a source of news, sports, and entertainment stories for elementary school students. This week I took another look at the service and saw that they now offer a classroom blogs feature. Youngzine classroom blogs enable teachers to create a private online space for their students to use to discuss news stories. As a teacher you can register your students on Youngzine and assign them to your classroom. Then within your Youngzine classroom you can assign articles for your students to read, ask them to response to articles and discussion prompts, and view their scores on the Youngzine weekly quiz.

Applications for Education
Elementary school and middle school teachers looking for current events materials that will suit their students' reading abilities will find Youngzine to be a great resource. In addition to the classroom blog option featured above, Youngzine also offers students the option to contribute their own reporting to the site through the U-Write section of the site. Students can sign-up individually to contribute to Youngzine's U-Write section or a teacher can register his or her entire class.

How to Quickly Create a Video on Magisto

Earlier this week I published a post about three good video creation tools. Magisto was one of the tools that I included in that post. The other two tools were WeVideo and Wideo. Of the three Magisto is the only one for which I haven't published a tutorial at some point. To remedy that situation I created the short video that is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Magisto can be a good tool to use when you want to create a short video to serve as a promotion for a school event or to summarize the highlights of a school event.

Magisto is also a good tool for students to use to create book trailer videos. Read more about book trailers in this post.

Lesson Plans for Elements 4D and Other Augmented Reality Apps

Last February Samantha Morra wrote a detailed guest post about using the augmented reality app Elements 4D in chemistry lessons. This week Terri Eiccholz shared the news that Elements 4D now offers a collection of lesson plans that utilize the augmented reality app in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Elements 4D is available for iPad and Android.

As I read Terri's post I discovered that she has put together a page on her site that is all about augmented reality apps and their uses in school. The page contains a grid of augmented reality apps for Android and iPad. In that grid Terri has linked to lessons and activities that utilize the apps. Like everything she writes, Terri's lessons and activities include examples of and or references to student work. Check out her colAR Pumpkin Page for an example.

Map Your Recipe - Where Does Your Favorite Food Come From?

Last fall I shared a neat mapping tool called Map Your Recipe. Map Your Recipe allows you to enter a recipe to find out where the vegetables in that recipe were first domesticated. This week the developer of Map Your Recipe informed that the site has been updated to include etymology and current crop producers. To see your favorite recipe mapped for you, enter your list of ingredients then click "submit recipe." If you don't have a recipe handy, you can try Map Your Recipe with one of the sample recipes listed on the site.

Applications for Education
As Thanksgiving in U.S. approaches next month, Map Your Recipe could be a fun tool to have students use to see where their favorite Thanksgiving foods originally came from. To extend the activity you could have students use The History of Harvest to see the process that takes place to get food their dining room tables.

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