In this app the traditional label the different parts of plants and animals activity is brought up to date in a way that can help remind children of pronunciation and teach them new facts.
A popular exercise for children to complete when learning about plants and animals is to label a diagram. By doing this, they show their knowledge of the different parts and compartmentalise them in their minds to enable them to think more deeply about their specific purpose. Naming Parts of Plants and Animals does what its name suggests and turns this activity into an app.
The different objects to label are a tree, an insect, a horse and a plant in both living and wilted form. After selecting the living thing to work on, different parts of it must be dragged into the correct position on the main picture. The name of each one is spoken clearly as it is dragged.
Children should pay careful attention to this name as when they have completed this section they need to match word labels to the appropriate parts. Sometimes there are more parts to label than there were parts to drag. Here children must rely on their existing knowledge.
Once all of the dragging and dropping is completed, children can tap on each label to bring up a little more description about each one. These are both spoken and shown in written form and provide a useful and well-selected fact. This adds an element of independent learning as they can be asked what they have learned about the different parts when using the app.
The written label is perfectly readable but is a little more roughly rendered than the rest of the app’s graphics, which are clear and colourful. In each section, the different parts and the main pictures are clear and well-drawn. Sound is mostly limited to the verbal descriptions and these are clear, easily understandable and spoken with a neutral English accent.
The app is easily used by different children in a classroom as its record keeping facility is simple to reset. This facility keeps track of each of the different labelling activities and shows the user’s accuracy in both matching the part to the diagram and then labelling it correctly. There’s no easy way to export this if a teacher wishes to keep a record, but taking a screen grab should suffice for most purposes.
In classrooms where the students do not have individual access to devices, it is easy to see how the app could be used to save teachers’ planning time and provide a useful and attractive focus for their teaching. Projected on to a class display, teachers will be able to discuss with the class the different parts and their names.
The app is aimed at children between 5 and 8, although the different sections will suit differently aged children. Some diagrams use more technical terms than others. Describing insects, for example, will require knowing about the thorax and antennae, but the horse uses more everyday terms of tail and neck etc.
This is an app with a definite focus and one that most primary teachers will need to cover. As such, it is one that is well worth looking at to see how it can fit into your science lessons.
From the Developer
Where is the trunk on a tree? What is the name of the colourful parts of a flower? Do butterflies have legs? One of the basic starting points in early science is for children to become familiar with the basic structure of plants, trees and different types of animals, which this fun app teaches in a simple and interesting way.
Knowing the names of the parts means children have the vocabulary to discuss animals and plants further: when children are out in the garden, or in a park, they can describe plants more fully; or they can compare different types of animals they see; and this will encourage them to ask questions and investigate further.
Naming Parts of Plants and Animals covers:
A wilted flower
For each of these topics, a picture shown on the screen is completed by dragging the different parts (eg with a flower: petal, leaf, roots, stem etc.) from the right of the screen and placing them into the correct position. When all of the parts have been placed, labels can be added, and children can click on the labels to hear and read more about that part of the plant or living creature.
Naming Parts of Plants and Animals works at the pace of children, so that children can stop and think, or ask questions of an adult. All of the children's attempts will be recorded, so that a teacher or parent can view the total number of correct and incorrect answers, and it can be used in either English or Spanish
At Storm Educational Software we work on developing apps for young pupils to get to grips with basic science. We design our apps to best suit the needs of today’s pupils, teachers and parents, using the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Next Generation Science Standards. We’re also great lovers of science in all its wonder. - take a look at our We Love Science blog at http://welovescienceblog.wordpress.com for further fun scientific explorations!
Naming Parts of Plants and Animals provides children with a foundation of understanding for further investigations into the natural world. The perfect assistant for any teacher or parent!