Sunday, September 08, 2013

Compositions and iPads in the Classroom

I would like to start by pointing out that this post does not refer to essays, since they are too long and it would take forever to type 5 paragraphs on an iPad (at least for an old dog like me). However, if we are dealing with single paragraphs or shorter compositions, it works brilliantly. 

Let’s take the first composition topic of 3B, for example. The students are supposed to write about a place that they would recommend to tourists. The example in the book is the Great Wall of China, but students can choose any place they have visited, be it in Brazil or anywhere else in the world.

After handing out the iPads, you could start by asking them to find a picture of that place (using Flickr – creative commons pictures, for example). After that, they can start writing their paragraphs. They can check spelling and find alternative words using a Thesaurus dictionary. Also, they need to write about the history of the place and give suggestions to tourists. This could easily be done with the travel apps that we already have in our iPads, and/or with the help of Wikipedia.

In the end, they can send their final product straight to your email account. This activity will keep the students focused and they will have fun doing it. What a great way to refute the students’ preconception that compositions are boring.

By teacher André

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