This benefits the learners who need visual stimuli. Those pupils that are auditory learners will benefit from having the text on each slide, read aloud. The kinaesthetic learners benefit from the activities and discussions that are included in the trail. The activities enable the kinaesthetic learners to have ‘hands-on’ learning, exploring the possibilities and learning from their mistakes and misconceptions. To make sure the learners get the most out of their learning, the teacher must ensure that there is variety in the way that the sessions are delivered.
The trail makes it easy for this to be accomplished as it has many discussion points, activities and talking points. These can be completed by the pupils in group work, pairs or independently so that the children do not get ‘bored’ of the same tedious task. The theories of learning have been taken into account whilst designing the virtual trail. After studying the theories such as the Behaviourist approach, the constructive approach and the cognitive approach they were integrated to enable both the user and the learner to get the most from the trail. Operational Guidance The trail uses simple icons to navigate around the trail.
Using a series of hyperlinks, icons and action buttons the user is able to move from slide to slide. Below is a table of icons with a simple explanation of its use within the trail. Icon Action This icon is found on every slide and will take you back to the slide containing the 4 main topics. This icon will take you to the last slide that was viewed. This icon will move you to the next slide. This is used in the creation story to take you to the next part of the story. This icon is used in the Creation Story and will return you to the beginning of the story from any slide.
This icon indicates that there is a picture/photograph link. You will find this icon on the main menu for each area on the people and places map. This icon will return you to the people and places map and can be found on any slide within that option. This icon will return you to the menu listing the options for the chosen area. This icon indicates that there is a link to an activity. Most activities are word documents that can also be printed for ease of use in the classroom. With knowledge of these icons the user should find the trail very simple to move around.
The trail includes a lot of advice on how to move around the slides and has reminders throughout. The first screen shows ‘Woody world’ and explains all that the trail contains. To move to the next slide (as explained in the trail, by Woody himself) simply click the picture of Woody. This will bring the user to the topic page. After deciding which topic to select, simply click anywhere in the topic box to select it. From there all you need is the icons listed above and you will have no problem moving around the trail. There is not set order in which the trail should be completed.
It has been designed so that the user and learners can pick their own route for independent learning. Activities There are many activities that can be extracted from the trail. Included in the trail are many ‘discussion photograph’. Each of the 9 area studies within the trail have a photo option, this enables the user to access a photo linked to the area that can be used to create a discussion or debate. Each photo also has a catchphrase which could be used to fuel the discussion or the teacher could steer the discussion in their own direction dependant on their lessons aims and objectives.
There is also opportunity for discussion throughout the trail in terms of the red question, hidden in between the text. This can be used as the teachers wishes with as much or as little emphasis as required. As I have mentioned before the trail has no specific route but can be adapted to fulfil the teacher’s requirements for their lessons. The 3 main activities that are included in the trail are detailed below. Activity A – Indian Food Comparison This activity links from the menu page of India.
It is and activity that aims to get the children to think about the type of food that are eaten in India, foods eaten in the UK and foods that are consumed in both areas. This activity included the use of mathematical skills in the sense of the Venn diagram and the sorting aspects. It also includes thinking skills in the respect of choosing the food for each section and could also be a comprehension task after reading the section on Food in India. This activity is best suited to independent work but could give the activity in pairs to less able groups or if you wanted to build on discussion and team work.
To differentiate the task a teacher could not label the items (as above) for the higher ability pupils so they have to identify the foods. By labelling or discussing the items with the lower ability pupils they will still have to do the majority of the task, and complete the objective, but will not waste time on the identifying of the foods. Resources needed: Scissors; Glue; Pen/Pencil; India food slide. Links to curriculum: – Ask questions and explore ideas, explain their thinking and the methods they use to support the development of their reasoning. – Collect information in a purposeful context.
– Represent data in a variety of ways. – Sorting and grouping information Activity B – How Cold is Our Playground? This activity can be accessed via the Alaska Weather slide. This activity aims to build upon the children’s science investigation skills. It involves the children experimenting on the temperature of the items found in their playground (these items could be changed to suit the playground at the school). By touching the items the children must decide on whether the items are very cold, cold, warm or very warm by simply ticking the correct box.
This task develops investigative skills and pair and group work. To differentiate the activity you could change the number of items given, or include extension questions to challenge the higher ability pupils. This activity can be used cross curricular with science when covering the topic of temperature. This activity would then be extended to cover the topics of thermal insulators and conductors. Resources needed: Playground with items included on the list; Pencil; Clipboards. Links to the curriculum: – Making observations and measurements and keeping records.
– Making comparisons and identifying similarities and differences – Take risks and become confident explorers of their outdoor environment. – Communication via symbols and pictures Activity C – Alaska State Song This activity is enables the children to compose and perform a melody to accompany the lyrics. With the aide of musical instruments the children must think about many musical aspects such as tempo, dynamics, volume etc. This activity involves the use of instruments, singing and most definitely group work. I would suggest that the children do this activity in groups 4 or 5.
This task would take at least 2 to 3 music sessions to make it beneficial. One session to think about the accompaniment, choose instruments and brainstorm ideas, the second to add the instruments and the third to practice and perform. This task also gives much opportunity for self and peer assessment and evaluation. To add slight differentiation to the task, the teacher could limit the instruments used but in my opinion the level of help and input given by the class teacher would be enough differentiation to enable the children to meet the tasks aims and objective.
Resources needed: Musical instruments; a basic brainstorm template, pens/pencils; song sheet; inspirational music that would help the pupil’s think up ideas. Links to curriculum: – Reflecting and evaluating their own work and the work of others’. – Make choices when choosing materials and resources. – Mix, shape and combine materials to create their own objects and communicate and express their ideas, feelings and memories creatively. – Explore a range of sound sources. – Contribute to simple composition. – Play simple and rhythmic patterns. – Make distinctions within the musical elements when listening to music.