Whilst attending the Real World Learning Network Conference back in November I had the opportunity to chat to Liz Earley, who works for the Field Studies Council. Once we discovered we both used iPads outdoors we took 5 minutes to share some apps. Liz showed me how she used FreezePaint to enable students to capture landforms observed in the local environment.
FreezePaint is surprisingly tricky to master for several reasons. It looks deceptively simple but the fine motor skill required for accuracy of capturing the objects needs to be there. I also took a while to fathom out how to use the app and save the work privately without losing what I had begun. It is well worth spending the time getting to know this app to avoid time-consuming mistakes and to do a couple of practice runs with your class before settling down to the key learning purpose of its use in a lesson.
In the photo above, I set myself the challenge, “How many different flowers and berries can I find in Seaton Park?” I wanted to find out if any flowering plants existed. As you can see from the photo, there is a good collection of polyanthus or primroses which were offering a little winter colour on the dark December days.
I thought it would be fun to do a collective noun scavenger hunt. This involves a child or group of children deciding what collection of objects they would like to create. This was inspired by the wonderful lists of collective nouns for birds and other animals. At this time of year skeins of geese can be seen flying overhead and these become gaggles of geese when resting on land. A murder of crows is not at all macabre but simply a collection of these birds.
I chose car logos as I thought this would be a creative way of moving beyond the traditional collective nouns for animals. It’s possible to capture just about anything: leaves; colours, lichens, bark, lamppost designs, window frames, etc. Regardless, it helps children tune into observing their environment. By researching and then inventing their own collective nouns, this aids the development of associated vocabulary and understanding of the purpose and use of a collective noun. It helps to discuss the origins of collective nouns and ways of making an informed decision about the collective name.
Saying this, I’ve still to decide the collective noun for my car logos. Suggestions are welcomed!