Here are some ideas for teaching about the topic of the home using apps and mobile devices. The ideas are aimed at the EFL/ESL young learner classroom but can be adapted to other contexts.
<ul><li> 1. 5 ideas for teaching about the home using apps and mobile devices Kim Ashmore, Director and Co-Founder, LearnAhead Ltd Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 2. 5 ideas for teaching about the home usingapps and mobile devicesHere are some ideas for teaching about the homeusing apps and mobile devices. The ideas are aimed atthe EFL/ESL young learner classroom but can beadapted to other contexts.1. Vocabulary household objects and furniture2. Design a home Elins house3. Activities around the home My PlayHome4. Household tasks Toca House5. Read and listen to a story 2 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 3. 1. Vocabulary Household objects and furnitureMost mobile phones these days come with a camera, andhere is an activity you can use with older learners who mighthave their own mobile phones. Ask learners to take somephotos of objects around the home, for example: Take photos of five things in your home you would savefrom a fire Take photos of objects that you think other students wonthave in their homes Take photos of everyday household objects from a strangeangle (for other students to guess)Learners bring the photos to school and show the photos ingroups the activities could be used to learn and recyclevocabulary of household objects, and could also lead tosome interesting discussions. 3 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 4. 1. Vocabulary Household items and furnitureWord Carrot is an app that will help learners of all ages spellten basic words for household objects and furniture. Learnerssee the word, hear the word, and choose the right letters tospell it. You could use it as a game to play on the IWB, orstudents can use it to practise words outside the classroom.Here is an activity you can print for learners to practise thewords further.The Home WorksheetApp: Word CarrotPlatform: iOSCost: Free 4 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 5. 2. Design a home Elins HouseThere are a number of dolls house apps on the market and thispost will look at three of them all language free. First ofall, Elins House. This is an interesting one as its a) free b)available for both iOS and Android, and c) particularly useful forEFL/ESL learners. With this app, users choose a house, and canthen decorate and furnish each room however they like. Thegraphics are not wonderful, but it is quite simple to use, and couldbe very useful for all kinds of activities.Note: Watch out for in-app purchases with this app, and makesure that the functionality is disabled before using with learners.App: Elins HousePlatform: iOS/AndroidCost: Free 5 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 6. 2. Design a home Elins HouseHere are four suggestions for using Elins House in the classroom: You could decorate a room, but add strange things into it (forexample, flowers in the bedroom; or a lamp in the garden). Show the pictureto your students, and ask them to say whats wrong with it. Use it to get students speaking and listening in English. Ask your students totell you what to put in each room, and where to put it (Paint the room green;put a table in the middle of the room; put three chairs next to thetable etc), and then follow their instructions. Or students could do the activityin pairs: one student gives instructions, the other follows them. This would begreat for practising vocabulary, and also good for practising giving instructionsand talking about position/location. Use it for writing practice. Children could design a room, andthen write about it. Ask students to try to create their ideal room using the items in the app. Canthey do it? What items are missing? 6 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 7. 3. Activities around the home My PlayHomeThe second dolls house app to be featured is MyPlayHome. This is a virtual, interactive play house, andallows children to role-play typical activities that takeplace around the home, such as having a meal, having ashower, going to bed and so on. There is also a freeversion My PlayHome Lite which offers full interactivityfor two rooms: the kitchen and living room.App: My Playhome LitePlatform: iOSCost: FreeApp: My PlayhomePlatform: iOSCost: 2.49/$3.99 7 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 8. 3. Activities around the home My PlayHomeLisa Johnson has some great ideas for using My PlayHome in theclassroom on her excellent blog TechChef4u. Here are two of her ideas:Take screenshots of a room and have students label the picture using anapp such as Doodle BuddyHave students compare and contrasta room in the app with a room at homeThese ideas could be used with otherplay home apps of course. 8 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 9. 4. Household tasks Toca HouseAnd the third dolls house app is Toca House. The app features five floors of ahouse which children can explore. They meet different characters on eachfloor, and complete 10 household chores each time they play, such asmopping the floor, washing the dishes, or mowing the lawn. As with the otherfeatured apps, there is no language, so it can be used to present languagerelated to household tasks, and can lead to discussions about who does whataround the home.App: Toca HousePlatform: iOSCost: 1.49/$1.99 9 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 10. 5. Read and listen to a storyI dont know how many childrens book and story appsare out there but I do know that there a lot. Many ofthese stories would work well with the theme of thehome, and I am just going to focus on one here: TheThree Little Pigs Nosy Crow animatedstorybook. This is a useful story for children learningEnglish as a second/foreign language: it may be wellknown to them already; and the language is relativelysimple and in this app the story is supported bygreat animations and actions.App: The Three Little Pigs Nosy Crow animatedstorybookPlatform: iOS (iphone and ipad)Cost: 3.99/$5.99 10 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 11. 5. Read and listen to a storyThe Three Little Pigs presents three modes: read and play;read to me; read by myself. Read and play would be a greatplace to start in the classroom, and would be ideal with asmall group of children, who could interact with thestory. The story makes the most of the ipads technicalcapabilities, for example, children can blow into themicrophone to blow the house down, and they can interactwith the characters and objects by touching the screen.This app is a little more expensive, but could be used againand again to inspire lots of classroom-based activities relatingto topics from the home (for example, making houses out ofdifferent materials), to pigs (making puppets). Or childrencould make their own books. See this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YMbh5TZCps 11 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> <li> 12. 5 ideas for teaching about the home usingapps and mobile devicesHave you got any more ideas to share? Then sharethem at :http://wordcarrot.com/5-ideas-for-teaching-about-the-home-and-furniture-using-apps-and-mobile-devices/Thank you! 12 Copyright 2011, LearnAhead </li> </ul>