John Himmelman has been “making up stories and scribbling pictures since I could hold a crayon in my hand.” At age 8, he started his first “Bug Club” in a friend’s garage. About the same time, in third grade, he wrote his first book—about bugs, of course. He wanted to be an entomologist and was eager to learn as much as he could about the little crawly things that surround us. . . .
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– by Glenn Hovemann
The Wilderness Society recently noted that the “thoughtful use of technology . . . may actually encourage spending time outdoors.” What a delightful observation! As every teacher knows, kids need a variety of learning tools—and lots of kids are attracted by technology. So why not use it to their benefit?
Apps—closely related to “enhanced e-books”—can be very effective learning tools because they can so smoothly combine the best features of a book and a game. Dawn’s newest app, Noisy Bug Sing-Along, is a perfect example of how the learning experience of a book can be expanded and enhanced.
In the book Noisy Bug Sing-Along by John Himmelman, children see wonderful, accurate close-ups of insects, and begin to learn where all those sounds on a summer evening are coming from. Crickets! Cicadas! Beetles! Katydids! Grasshoppers! Each makes a unique sound, and quite often it is LOUD. The book uses onomatopoeia and explains that bugs are not using their “voices” to make these sounds, but rather they move various body parts to make the sounds.
As an app, Noisy Bug Sing-Along offers all of the above. In addition, children hear the author’s narration—including his wonderfully creative onomatopoeia—as well as the real recorded sounds of the bugs. And when little fingers touch the on-screen bug, the child not only hears its sound but also sees how the insect moves its wings, or abdomen, or other body part to create the sound.
And that’s not all. Whereas the book introduces kids to concept of sound waves as vibrations going through the air which can be converted into the form of a graph, the app goes further. When kids touch a short sound wave for an insect on screen, the full sound wave recording for that insect opens up, and the child can follow along the ups and downs of the wave as it plays. What a delightful way to learn!
As is customary with Dawn products, both the book and the app offer additional information about each featured insect.
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