Using Popplet Lite in 1st Grade, Animals and Geography

First-graders used Popplet Lite and Internet research to find out facts about animals that live in specific areas of the world. Ahead of time, the teacher locates a few websites that she wants the children to use, and she saves them to the home screen of the iPad; this is a time-saver, so the students do not have to type in multiple long web addresses in the browser. Next, the students keep a paper (outlining general information they need to discover about an animal) and take notes as they visit sites and find facts. As students find pictures that will be useful, they save them to the camera roll. This part of the project takes about an hour or two. Once all the research is complete, the student open Popplet Lite and create a "mind map" of their findings. The name of and picture of their assigned animal is on the center popple, and they size that popple to be the largest. We talk about the central idea of a presentation being largest, bold, etc., much like a title of a book,magazine, or newspaper is the largest on the cover. We also talk about color-coding as part of presentation- the center popple may be colored and the rest black, or all popples pertaining to habitat could be of one color and all fact popples pertaining to anatomy could be another color, etc. The children begin creating. Popples may contain facts, pictures, or a combination. Popples may also contain hand-drawings. This part of the process takes about an hour. Once the students are finished creating a popplet of popples (isn't that fun to say?) that depicts their animal, the final step is a presentation to their classmates. We took 2-3 morning times during the week to celebrate their work with presentations. The kids each used Airplay to mirror their popplet to the whiteboard and explain their animal. After they present,they take questions from the audience (a practice they do daily during morning greeting/share time.) The teacher also comments on presentation, such as whether the text was large enough to see or if the child could zoom in and out to show a popple in larger detail, whether the color scheme was logical, whether the spelling and grammar was polished, etc. The teacher also prompted the children to think about why particular features of the animal, such as color, made it adaptable to the area of the world or country this animal lived in.

From Terri, Online Alum, Ensworth School, TN (Tech Integrator)