Using iPads for Literacy and Research in Kindergarten

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? -Albert Einstein

We are finishing up a big unit on the rainforest.  We have learned about the 4 layers, what animals live in each layer, what products we get from the rainforest and how people are destroying the rainforest.  We have read books and watched videos.  As we finish up this unit, the kids are focusing on one animal they want to learn more about.  We have talked about doing research before and we made this anchor chart together:

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 Along the way, they have demonstrated their learning about different animals in the rainforest.  They have used Pic Collage and Drawing Pad App to share this information.
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We even turned our whole hall into a walk-through rainforest.  The kids made animals, rainforest fun facts, vines, leaves, and plants.  This is just one small section.
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So we are now practicing our research.  Another teacher and I created books in Book Creator for their iPads with information about a variety of animals in the rainforest.  We also have rainforest books in our classroom. They had these books available for their research.  We talked AT LENGTH about plagiarism and using our own words.  We talked before hand about what information would be important for them to know. We made a list of things together they should look for when reading. Then they took some notes on their animals.
They had the option of paper or iPad.  This child chose paper.
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Then, using these notes they made a graphic organizer of their thoughts.  They used Pic Collage and Drawing Pad app for this.
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Tomorrow, they will start making their own books in Book Creator about their animal. There has been a busy buzz all day as they have read, collaborated, worked and created.  I am excited to see how their books turn out. They will share them with their classmates when they are all finished.  We can upload them to Showbie and all of the students will have access to everyone’s book!
The Common Core State Standard for this is W.K.7 :  Participate in shared research and writing projects.  There is no doubt these kids are on the right track.  Their excitement and engagement along with their final products are a win-win.
Today we will do exciting new things.  Let’s get to it!
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4 thoughts on “Using iPads for Literacy and Research in Kindergarten

  1. Incredible work! When they begin making their books tomorrow, will they use the work they have already created and put it right into book creator or will they start by making new pages?

    • Thanks Brenda…They will use the research and notes they have taken to write their books and they may use the drawings they created for their Pic Collage graphic organizer. They will also be allowed to go on Safari with supervision to find images. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Kristi – Just came across this post. Great project. I wonder if you integrate media literacy questions at any point? Do the kids ever reflect on which sources were most valuable and why? Do they discuss what to put on their book cover, how it would let people know what’s inside, and why it would interest people in their book? Are they ever asked to explain how they chose what to include in their illustrations? In other words, are media analysis skills integrated into using media technologies?

    • Faith
      Yes to all. Obviously they are only 5, so these discussions are age appropriate. We work on moving beyond “I used it because I like it or it is cool.” This develops media literacy as well as vocabulary.

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