Making new knowledge stick!

When it comes to learning new knowledge and facts relating to a topic, it can sometimes be tricky to find tasks that help children share their learning so that they retain the information. I have seen many lessons and work in books that just seem to involve research and simply copying it into books. I always question how much knowledge the children can recite from this approach.

The iPad is now transforming the way children demonstrate their learning. Recently, I have been working with a class of Year 2 children, where we have been using different approaches relating to the same topic of 'animals in the Savannah' to show how usingthese activities are make our new found knowledge stick.

We first started by generating questions that we wanted to find out: What?..... Where?..... Why?..... How?.... We had to finish those sentences and share with others on their tables and with the class to build up a list of questions that we wanted to answer. As a class we decided to firstly focus on the Cheetah. We then had some time to research on the internet to try and find answers to our questions.

Once they had answers most of their questions it was time to decide how to share our learning. After that, we showed our understanding in three different ways to hopefully make all our new found knowledge stick. Firstly, we used a Green Screen app to let us record ourselves as if we were right there in the Savannah. The app we used was Green Screen Movie FX which allows you to record in front of a green or blue background and change it to a video or picture. We downloaded a video, using the dropbox trick, of a cheetah in its natural habitat and recorded each other sharing some of the facts we had learnt. We could not read the facts, we had to recite what we could remember. We were amazed at the final product and seeing each other stood next to a cheetah! Here is some examples:

Green Screen Cheetah Facts from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

Next we had to present what they had found out about Cheetahs using the app Puppetpals. We had to add pictures of cheetahs and what they eat as well as a background of the Savannah. Recording ourselves sharing our facts while manipulating the characters created some amazing factual videos. Again with us having to focus on moving the characters it meant we had to recite facts from memory rather than just reading from a sheet, making the knowledge stick. Here are some examples of our videos:  

  Using Puppetpals to share our knowledge of Cheetahs from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

  Finally we used Pic Collage to create a collage of cheetahs. Using this picture we then annotated it using the app ThingLink. I came across Thinglink after @hiimpactconsult shared it at #TMStockport. This app looks absolutely superb for so many different activities. Thinglink is a webbased tool that allows you to add text, video or hyperlinks to the picture. Within the app, we can import an image and then make it interactive by adding videos within the image. It would be great to use within Literacy lessons to share similes and metaphors for examples, the possibilities are truly endless with this app. Here is one of the examples from our research:
 As an extension, we could then make Thinglink pictures about other animals in the Savannah to see them - CLICK HERE.

All these activities involved the children having to think more carefully about the facts they had learnt about the animals. Rather than simply copy them into a book they are presenting them orally meaning that they cannot simply read rather have to recite and remember. The fact that the children also know most of their work will end up on the school blog to a real audience, it gives the task more of a purpose and therefore encourages the children to create work a the highest possible standard.


  1. Hi Mr P, how did you upload the videos of you class to thinglink? Did you need to upload to youtube or vimeo first?

    1. You can upload videos from your ipad to a thinglink direct in the Thinglink app

  2. Yo Mr P. I attended your training in Doha this August. I know you work with iPad but can you recommend any android green screen apps? Cheers!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How Pixar can help develop writing!

Get Seesaw Plus for FREE!

Teaching Direct Speech Punctuation using the iPhone text messaging!