I've written before on how I use Angry Birds in the classroom, and today I want to share another project I use with students to get them engaged in learning.
Below is a project created by Tonia (not her real name). Tonia is a very angry little girl who has a heightened sense of anxiety and an acute fear of failure. Her reading and writing skills are quite weak, and she has very little interest in allowing others to see how much she struggles, so learning for her is a repetitive exercise of either fight or flight in order to maintain her dignity. To say she is unengaged from school would be a gross understatement.
When I first met Tonia, I asked her if she wanted to try an iPad.
She quickly said no.
I've had an iPad in my classrooms for over a year now, and in that time, I've never had someone say they didn't want to try the iPad. Never.
Needless to say, I was a little shocked -- but I quickly rallied.
As I turned on the app, I asked Tonia if she had ever heard of a game called Angry Birds.
Her face lit up and she replied that her dad plays it all the time.
I breathed a sigh of relief now that the ice was broken. I had an in.
So I let her play for 10 minutes and then said How about I show you how to do a project with Angry Birds.
She recoiled and said No. I don't know how to do that. You can't make me.
I backed off.
10 minutes later I asked again. She stood, said fuck off and left the room.
The next day I tried again, and thankfully she was in a better mood. Here's the project she created:
And here's a short video showing how this project can be done on the iPad using Angry Birds, screen shots, Keynote and text boxes:
The beauty of a project like this is that the student starts with a blank page and constructs something from scratch that they can call their very own. And it can be as simple or as sophisticated as you wish to make it.