Slammin’, Jammin’ Apptivities

Let's Move From Consuming to Creating!

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The educational apps just keep popping up in the App Store, so how do you know which ones are right for your students? Are there apps that can effectively be used as a creative, instructional tool in the classroom? Which apps encourage the use of higher order thinking skills including creating, evaluating, and analyzing? Let's take a look at some educational apps and "apptiviities" that will engage students and enrich learning.

Benjamin Franklin

This Benjamin Franklin project uses Toontastic, Google Maps App, Popplet Lite and the Bill Atkinson Photocard Apps.

Animal Report

1.Create a picture of an animal using the Hello Crayons App. Your animal will need to be facing forward. Save the image to your Camera Roll.
2. Upload your animal picture into ChatterPix Kids.
3. Use the ChatterPix Kids App to tell about your animal.
4. Save your creation to the Camera Roll.

Example: Hello Crayons + ChatterPix

Sock Puppets

Create your own sock puppet shows with the Sock Puppets app. Watch the creativity explode when students start experimenting with this app!

Sock Puppets is free, but there are in-app purchases available.

Sock Puppets Examples:


TeleStory - Write, direct and star in your own television show. Students pick a theme and one of more than 30 animated scenes and then write their script. Next, they choose from more than 50 digital costumes and record a TV show. (APP)

Popplet Lite

Popplet Lite allows students to create graphic organizers to share what they have learned.

All About Me

1. Take a picture of yourself using the front-facing camera.

2. Open Popplet Lite app.

3. Insert your picture into Popplet.

4. Create 5 Popples (bubbles) extending from your picture. Each Popple must contain an adjective that describes you.


Chatterpix - Make your photos, friends, pets or drawings talk. Take a photo, draw a line to make a mouth and record your voice and then share with your friends and family. Very creative way for students to introduce themselves. (APP)

ABC Book with Shadow PuppetEDU App

Shadow PuppetEDU is a free IOS app that allows the user to easily create videos to explain an idea, tell a story and document learning.
To create an ABC Book:

  1. Each student is assigned a letter of the alphabet to illustrate. They must write the letter and draw a picture of something that begins with that letter.
  2. After students have completed their illustration, the teacher takes a picture of each drawing.
  3. The teacher then has each student record the name of their letter and what begins with that letter. Example: "A is for alligator".
  4. You will want to create a beginning an ending slide for your book, such as a class picture or a sign that says Mrs. Smith's Class Alphabet Book.
  5. When the book has been recorded, you have several sharing options to choose from within the ShadowPuppetEDU app.

Click on the "ideas" icon within the Shadow PuppetEDU app for integration ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Sequencing - Tell about a process or event by using transition words (e.g., schedule for the day, timeline of historical events, etc).
  2. Summarizing - Take a picture of the book cover. Students record a summary of the book.
  3. Reading fluency - Students record themselves reading the text.
  4. Creative storytelling - Students work together to develop a story, take photos, and record a narrative.
  5. Self-published authors - Students write, illustrate, and record original stories, poems, or ABC books.
  6. Readers theater - Student draw pictures to match their assigned part of the story. Order the pictures and have students record their lines.
  7. About Me presentations - Makes for a fun beginning of the year activity.
  8. Show and tell - Students share interesting things related to the curriculum being studied.
  9. How-to tutorials - Create step by step directions for how to achieve a desired outcome (e.g., how to make cookies).
  10. Community & culture - Create slideshows of community workers or leaders, holidays around the world, or cultures and customs.
  11. Math word problems - Students create word problems such as, "In this photo there are 3 red blocks and 2 green blocks. The total number of blocks is 5 because 3 plus 2 equals 5."

Story Corps

StoryCorps - (free) - Use to record interviews. Excellent tips and interview questions. Help your students to conduct successful interviews with people in their lives. The resulting videos will be reminders of the lives of people and their memories.

Google Play Store

StoryCorps in the Classroom - Smore of ideas and instructions

Compare the March on Selma and the Events in Baltimore

Watch newsclips and read articles about the March on Selma and the unrest in Baltimore (or Ferguson).
Use a Venn Diagram App to compare the two historical events. Read Write Think has an easy-to-use app for creating Venn Diagrams.

Other Ideas:
  1. Rewrite the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments as tweets based on the activities from the two events. This forces the students to put the Amendments in their own words.

  2. Create a video, news report, etc. comparing the two events.
  3. Compare the technology tools used during the two events to report the news. How has social media changed the way the public receives information? How has television news reporting changed?
  4. Skype or Google Hangout with:
  • A reporter that covered Baltimore
  • A class from Baltimore
  • A senior citizen who was alive during the March on Selma

Your Essential Question: What causes a movement?

Similes and Metaphors

  1. Look through the objects in the baggie. You will have to create 2 similes and 2 metaphors using 4 of the objects.
  2. Use the camera to take a picture of the 4 objects you have selected. You have black and white paper that you can put the objects on to photograph them.
  3. Take a picture of your group. You can ask someone else to help take the picture.
  4. Open the Animoto app.
  5. Click on the Create button.
  6. Find the 4 pictures you took. Click on each the check mark on each picture to make the check mark turn green.
  7. Click Use.
  8. Click Next (do not select Style or Music yet).
  9. Click in the Title box and type the first names of each of the people in your group.
  10. Click Done.
  11. Type Goodbye in the Outro box.
  12. Click Done.
  13. Pull down on the Outro box until you see your pictures and a square that has a blue T+ in it.
  14. Click the blue T+.
  15. Type Simile in the Enter a Title box.
  16. Type your simile for one of the pictures (no more than 50 characters).
  17. Click Done.
  18. Repeat steps 14-17 for the other simile.
  19. Type Metaphor in the Enter a Title box.
  20. Type your metaphor for one of the pictures (no more than 50 characters).
  21. Click Done.
  22. Repeat steps 14-17 for the other metaphor.
  23. Hold down on the slide that has a simile on it and move it behind the corresponding picture.
  24. Click Save Video.

The Ocean

  1. Download the Word Clouds, Doodle Buddy and Pic Collage Apps. Pic Collage EDU is also available for $1.99.
  2. Each person in the group writes down 5 words about the ocean on an index card.
  3. Open the Word Clouds App and enter each word from the note cards. If words are repeated, enter them in the App.
  4. Create a Word Cloud when all words have been entered.
  5. Save your Word Cloud to the Camera Roll.
  6. Open the Doodle Buddy App and draw a picture of the ocean using the drawing tools and stickers.
  7. Save your picture to the Camera Roll.
  8. Open the Pic Collage App and upload your Word Cloud and ocean picture to make one image.
  9. Save your image to the Camera Roll.

United States Reports

  1. Create a ChatterPix (ChatterPix Kids) about California and save it to your camera roll. You can use one of the photos in the Gallery or a picture from your camera roll.
  2. Open to access a United States map in the public domain from the Department of Interior.
  3. Click and hold on the map to save it to your camera roll.
  4. Open the Thinglink app.
  5. Upload the United States map to your Thinklink account.
  6. Link the Gami and Chatterpix to the appropriate states.


  1. Open the iCell App and select one of the cell types to work with.
  2. Take a screenshot of the cell using your Camera.
  3. Open the Skitch App.
  4. Upload the image of the cell from your Camera Roll.
  5. Use the Crop Tool in Skitch to crop your image.
  6. Use the various tools to label the parts of the cell.
  7. Save your image to the Camera Roll.
  8. Repeat above steps for other cells or cell parts.
  9. Create an Animoto video with your images.

Famous Monuments of the Ancient World

Photo Mapo, Pic Collage and ThingLink apps were used to create a presentation about the Famous Monuments of the Ancient World.

  1. Choose a famous building a civilization and upload the image into the Photo Mapo App.
  2. Save the image to the iPad Camera Roll and then import it into the Pic Collage or Pic Collage Kids App.
  3. Add text to label the image.
  4. Upload the Pic Collage image into ThingLink and create the tags to provide the viewers with information about the civilizations.

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Twitter: @corderj @joangore