Using Technology to Bring Handa's Surprise to Life!

Year 1's topic this half term has been Fruitastic! I have previously blogged some ideas linked to the science aspect of this topic, which you can read here. I loved the interactive fruit bowl image they made using funny movie maker and Thinglink -

As with most of our topics, we try to find as many links to stories and books that we then explore in English! The book linked with Fruitastic is Handa's Surprise. Over the past few weeks, I have been exploring how technology can help enrich the children's learning and deepen their understanding of the story.

The first task after reading the story was to create a movie of the book. So in groups of 8-10 the children were taken to our media suite and had to plan and perform the story. It was a great way to see what they could remember of the story but also how well they could work together to record a film. As the teacher, I became an observer and let the children discuss how, who and what will happen. I was amazed at their enthusiasm and will to complete the task. In our school Media Suite, there is a huge space for GreenScreen -

I love using greenscreen, the ability to create stunning visuals similar to a Hollywood studio with just a green background and the brilliant Doink Greenscreen is such a powerful tool in the classroom. Once the children had recorded their films (I helped hold the iPad) they could then orally record themselves retelling the story. This is where I really tried to encourage the children to explore other words and phrases instead of just repeating the story. 
  • Can you think of another way to describe the fruit?
  • What words can be used to describe the animal?
  • How did the animal take the fruit? 
Posing these questions and then allowing the children to record themselves retell their own versions of the story was not only a great way of showing our understanding of the story but then led straight into the children creating their own stories. Here are some of the children's examples - 

As you can see the technology has been used in a way to really enhance and transform the learning that children would have done if we looked at creating something on paper. 

This week, we have been thinking about the animals and inferring why they had taken the fruits from Handa. We had a great discussion thinking about reasons why they may have taken the fruits. I was so impressed with the children's thoughts. How they looked at the descriptions of fruits as the reason - for example, one boy commented that the Ostrich couldn't resist the sweet smell of the Guava. Others focused on the features of the animal, another children said 'the Elephant wanted the fruit because it was soft and they don't have sharp teeth.' Some thought about their own experiences - 'the monkey was hungry, no not just hungry, starving!' My favourite had to be the reason for the Parrot - 'Maybe he had the fruit but dropped it and couldn't find it anywhere until it saw Handa's basket!' - AMAZING!

To collect all these amazing ideas, the children used the app ChatterKids to record ideas and responses as the animals. Here are their efforts - 

Again, the technology is being used as a tool for children to creatively share their ideas, thoughts and understanding! These two ideas using Doink Greenscreen and Chatterkids could easily be used with any other story or book. With KS1 classes, I tend to start working in groups having the activity as a carousel over a week as the children build their confidence in being creators with the iPad, we look at more whole class activities. 

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  1. Hi,

    Was there a particular app that you used for the fruit typography? I really love it and would like to use it as I'm currently doing Handa's surprise with my class.

    Heather Jones


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