If your class is learning about animals then I think it’s a good idea to acquire the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) app. The app will allow children to learn about different animals and has a wide range of information about the creatures it highlights.
The app is very well presented and the children are able to see a lot of origami animals (and can also access videos teaching them how to make their own version from paper) which helps make it more appealing to the students.
What The Children Do:
The children are given access to a selection of animals that they can learn about. Each animal is given their own special attribute alongside their name to help describe that animals character and/or to highlight the attributes human beings generally associate with the creature.
They can choose to research the following animals in great detail:
- Giant Panda (Charisma)
- Elephant (Intelligence)
- Sea Turtle (Longevity)
- Tigers (Solitude)
- Bison (Survival)
- Snow Leopards (Rarity)
- Polar Bears
- Whales (Greatness)
- Rhinos (Protection)
- Gorillas (Strength)
- Sharks (Diversity)
- Jaguars (Ferocity)
- Dolphins (Playfulness)
- Monarch Butterflies (Perseverance)
- Orangutans (Nurturing)
- Penguins (Camaraderie)
Once they’ve selected the animal they’d like to study, the children can them begin to read and record different information about that animal. Each animal has a lot of information written about it, including; their name, natural habitat, a set of photographs, general size and weight, any threats they face and the population in the wild.
Aside from the basic factual information listed above, children can also read about the different threats facing the animals and learn a lot of trivial information that they might not find in a text book or website. For example, when studying gorillas children will learn that each gorilla has such a distinctive nose pattern that researchers use this to identify them individually.
A very engaging feature that the WWF app offers the children is the option to discover how far away an animal lives from you (should you allow the app to access your location). There is also a small 3D origami globe that has blue streaks scattered across it to show where the animals native habitat is found.
Each animal also has an interactive activity that the children can complete to help them better understand the animal. For example, when researching the sea turtle, children can press a button which will cause the screen to fill with water and they’ll dive to the depths a sea turtle can dive to – passing the silhouettes of various marine life on the way.
All of this is designed to engage the children in their learning so that they can get the most out of the information on offer.
Aside from learning about the animals, the app focuses on, children can also access a large origami 3D globe which will give them information about even more animals from around the world.
How It Works:
The children have to use their finger to move from category to category when researching an animal or spinning the globe to research other animals. However, there is a tutorial which can help children to understand how to use the app so that they can work independently.
Why It’s Good:
The app is very detailed and has a lot of unique information which I think will enhance a child’s learning. The images are also a very high quality and the interactive activities help to engage reluctant learners in their work. Finally, having the how-to videos that children can access to create origami animals is very useful if you want to create an art lesson around the work they’ve studied.