Thursday, March 15, 2012

STEM Friday: Planes (iPad book app)

written and illustrated by Byron Barton
2012 (Oceanhouse Media)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Check out STEM Friday at Hands-On-Books

Touching down on an iPad near you is Planes. This book is an engaging book app for preschool and kindergarten students. It starts with several pages about different airplanes. You have jet planes, seaplanes, crop dusters, and other flying vehicles featured in brightly colored pages with one sentence descriptions. If your child is a non-reader, an enthusiastic narrator is available to help carry the reading load or you can touch individual words if you are just learning to read. Students will enjoy manipulating the airplanes and other items that appear on the screen. I'm not exactly a child and I had fun. Later in the book, you get several pages that focus on what happens with a plane after it lands on the ground. Students will learn terms like control tower and cargo plane. This section would work well with a lesson on sequence.

 Before reading Planes with a class or a small group, I would create a circle map and ask students what they know about planes. Drawing upon that background knowledge will enhance the experience for young readers. A plane that writes messages is featured in the book, so I might ask a child what they would like to write in the sky or why someone would want this done. Very young children will enjoy listening, reading, and manipulating Planes. Be prepared for several repeated readings, which is what you want for our youngest fans of text.

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