The Zen Garden app is a useful tool to use to help children describe a setting as part of an English lesson. For children who struggle with creative writing, this type of app is a great way to help them visualize the scene so that they can write a better setting description.
What The Children Do:
Children are given access to a virtual tour of a peaceful and luxurious garden. They can move between different sections of the garden and complete different interactive activities as they do so. These activities include;
- Playing with fish in a large koi pond
- Making pink blossom appears on trees and then making the leaves fall to the ground
- Tipping water into a water feature and making butterflies appear
- Drawing patterns in a sand pit
This is useful when asking children to write a setting description for a garden or luxurious house because the children can interact with and visualise the garden they’re writing about. Furthermore, it is also useful when helping children who have different emotional needs to relax because the app is very calming to use.
How It Works:
The children use their finger to control everything in the app.
Firstly, they have to select a white circle to move to that area within the garden. Secondly, they use arrows to move through the area they’ve selected. Thirdly, they use their finger to interact with the different things in the garden. Finally, they press the door icon (at the top of the screen) to move back through the garden so they can select a different area to explore.
It’s very easy to use and children will be able to work independently when using this app.
Why It’s Good:
Zen Garden is a great app to have in the classroom because it can help struggling writers to visualise what they’re writing about. I also think it’s good to use as a therapeutic tool when helping children to calm down (particularly for children with ASD who need a distraction when they’re worked up).