You can delve into Britain’s past with our time travelling duo, Tim & Moby, and enjoy this collection of history resources: kings, queens, invasions, and war, with a little bit of black death thrown in for good measure.
We always enjoy seeing how schools use BrainPOP so when Ms Tonks of Shireland Collegiate Academy said it would be okay for Jude (our BrainPOP Elearning & Mobile Consultant) to visit the school she jumped straight into her Moby-mobile. Here’s how she got on…
Before lessons started for the day, we dropped in on a Year 9 class using BrainPOP in tutor time. I had imagined the class would be watching the daily featured movie but on arrival I discovered that BrainPOP fits into the learning at Shireland Academy in a different and useful way.
Shireland use a unique curriculum model called ‘Literacies for Life’. This is a project-based learning approach that focuses on a common theme throughout all subjects for a given period of time and uses dynamic learning to bring the subject to life. The theme this month is ‘Over the Top’ – learning about WWI.
Ms Dhillon ushered everyone into the room and we watched the WWI movie followed by the quiz. To add a fun twist to the quiz, after each question students held up a coloured card to show their answer – A, B, C, or D – and Ms Tonks and Ms Dhillon stood at the front and could see which colour was the decision of the class.
The class answered nearly all the questions correctly – impressive how switched on everyone was considering it was only 9 am! No sooner had we finished the quiz than the bell went and everyone rushed off to their first lesson. I couldn’t help wondering what a Science lesson on the theme of WWI would be like (making mustard gas?).
Having everything planned on the learning platform was helpful in squeezing learning into every little bit of the day. The eLearning team have embedded links to the BrainPOP movies (and other resources) being used in each lesson so they’re easy to find for teachers and students. They’ve even animated their own BrainPOP access buttons!
The elearning team kindly showed me a few more innovations they use to get the best out of their learning platform and resources:
In tutor time, teachers use flip cameras to record the work done – the evidence is then stored on the learning platform.
‘E-Pic’ – a library collection of resources students would find helpful tying in with the theme of the month. This could be free materials or clips or BrainPOP movies all accessible through an animated walkthrough, saving students and teachers hours of internet searching!
Attitude Rocks – short clips designed to prompt discussion about various situations that might arise in school. I thought the accents sounded familiar…sure enough, it turns out the voices had been done by students and teachers from the school.
Apps for Good – students have to come up with ideas for apps that don’t already exist but also do something good for the community. Quite a tall order considering the huge number of apps already out there! Undaunted, students are already coming up with ideas and designing the apps themselves, the best of which will actually be put into production by a digital company.
I hope I’ll get the chance to call in and see Shireland again soon, it’s always good to get stocked up on good ideas to pass on to other BrainPOP schools. Meanwhile, I hope we can persuade Shireland students to blog for us in the future…they certainly have a lot to write about!
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 World War I came to an end. Let Tim and Moby introduce you to World War I and learn just why it was called the Great War, and why there was nothing “great” about it, other than its size.
Tim describes the new military technology used during the war and how it caused incredible destruction and devastation. You’ll also find out what an alliance is and why it played such a large role in the war.
Finally, you’ll discover how the end of WWI may have inadvertently caused WWII.
This Sunday, known as Remembrance Sunday, we’ll be remembering all those who have fought and died in the line of duty since WWI. Red poppies still grow prolifically in the fields of northern France where most of the fighting and loss of life during WWI occurred so we wear them as a symbol of remembrance.
"Poppies at Giverny" by moonlightbulb, on Flickr
A two minutes’ silence will be observed tomorrow – Remembrance Day – at 11am and this Sunday at 11am.
We’ll be wearing our red poppies and remembering, we hope you will too.
When we were up in Glasgow recently, we treated ourselves to a wee school visit. Well, we say “wee”, but Calderglen High School in East Kilbride has roughly 1800 pupils so that was a misleading statement to say the least.
We were invited along by class teachers, Mhairi Healy and Lindsay Purdon, to observe an S2 English class in action. The teachers decided to bring two S2 classes together for a creative World War One lesson.
40 kids rolled through the doors and we were immediately impressed at how quickly they got organised.
The lesson objectives were clear:
In groups, come up with a slogan to encourage men to sign up and help the war effort
Create a propaganda poster and include your slogan.
Make a presentation to the rest of the class where you make a persuasive argument to young men to sign up and fight.
To provide a little context and focus everyone’s attention, Mrs Healy and Ms Purdon played the World War I movie. Then, in groups of 4 and 5, the kids got to work.
It was wonderful to see how quickly each group immersed themselves into the tasks assigned, easily deciding who got what job. They had one class period to come up with the slogan, design a poster, and write and practice their presentations. They all worked really well considering the time pressure. Slogans and design seemed to be a doddle to this lot – why don’t we find it that easy?!
One hour up!
Attention to the front again to watch the BrainPOP UK movie on Public Speaking. We loved how the teachers decided to use the movie – rather than play the whole thing, they started it halfway through to cover the most relevant points for the second half of the lesson. It worked really well as a way of focusing the class’ attention after the discourse and loud creativity of the previous hour.
Presenting to BrainPOPpers (and everyone else in class)
All of the groups did well with their presentations. Given the little time they had to prepare, we were excited to see how varied the presentations were and how innovative some of the groups could be.
And the winner is…
After some “x-factor style” deliberations we picked a winner – a group with an original idea which they carried off with real enthusiasm for the goal – to recruit young men to the British Army. They were men who were in the army themselves and could proudly say it was great to be fighting for their country; we were convinced to sign up ourselves!
The winning group were given some specially made tartan badges and Ms Purdon got a prize-winning cup (a.k.a. BrainPOP UK mug).
We finished off with a fun Q&A session and, fortunately, the kids had some good questions. We were asked what our favourite movie was and Ann picked Etymology (Moby speaks in this one!) which promptly led into a discussion and explanation of what etymology actually was – very appropriate for an English class.
We had a fantastic time at Calderglen High School. As well as the English Department we visited the Gaelic Department – one classroom! We were warmly welcomed though our Gaelic was left wanting…
Good luck Calderglen for the rest of the school year and Glee fun in English! It was a pleasure visiting your school and we hope to be back again soon. We’ll leave the last word to adorable BrainPOP fan and VIB, Mrs Healy: