Thursday, May 2, 2013

STEM Friday: On Beyond Bugs! (iPad app)

On Beyond Bugs!
2013 (Oceanhouse Media)
Source: App provided by the publisher

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The Cat in the Hat is here to lay some rhyming bug knowledge on preschoolers and K-2 students. He finds Dick and Sally having a picnic which is the perfect opportunity for a lesson on insects. The Cat starts off with general information about insect bodies. Readers can touch on each one and learn their names. We get to see text features like labels and diagrams in learning about the three body parts of insects. Other topics protection devices like camouflage and coloring are explored. One of the coolest pieces of information deals with the spittlebug which spits bubbles to cover itself from hungry predators. This is a different definition of "spitting image". Dick and Sally learn about other fascinating creatures such as the honeybee and the ant. A groovy waggle dance from a honeybee is a highlight of this app. The story concludes with more information about insects like fireflies and butterflies.

On Beyond Bugs! is an engaging app for youngsters who do not read or are just beginning to learn. Older readers probably already have the knowledge that is presented in the app and would not be as intrigued. This app is a great introduction to the world of insects. There are not a ton of bells and whistles which I think is actually a good thing. That allows readers to focus on the information and not so much on playing. Any opportunity that you have to provide a preschooler with nonfiction is great. On Beyond Bugs! is a chance to build background knowledge that will be needed later.

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