Thursday, April 7, 2011

Enhance Children's Literacy with Popplet

Enhance Children's Literacy
I've discovered a new place to play online place for kids to explore and play with words and images. Children's literacy is often enhanced by internet magic, and I think your children might find Popplet motivational and fun.

Popplet can best be described as a platform for ideas. It helps us explore ideas, a little like a mindmap. Or we can just collect ideas and represent them either visually, in text, or both.

Once you register/sign in, you're coached to begin exploring Popplet's features. Useful idea! Basically, you have a working screen, and you double click on it to make a popple - a little frame inside which you can add text, images from the internet or your commuter, or draw. You can change the colour of the frame and move it around too - it's very manoeuvrable. If you change your mind about anything, one click and it's editable again.

When you've assembled all your popples, you can link them to highlight their relationships. The whole popplet can then be re-edited, perhaps a different background colour chosen, and you can either print it or export it as a pdf or jpg file, or share it and make it public. The whole popplet experience is fast, easy and reasonably intuitive.

Here's a video that explains more:

I think Popplet is a great online place for kids to play and learn. If your child is working out how to present ideas for a school project say, this might help. He can map out his ideas, rearrange them, delete some, add more, represent ideas visually. A popplet might be as simple and personal as a five-year-old making frames for each family member and representing them with a picture and their name. Or he might try adding letters/sounds he knows and you can hep him find suitable pictures to match. A seven-year-old might like to represent all the dinosaurs he knows, label them, and write a little about them. I think Popplet might be a fun way to collect new French vocabulary, or practise spelling words. Kids might even use it to type up a story they've written, and add a picture to illustrate it.

What do you think of Popplet?

If you're looking for other ways to engage children with word and image play, you might like to read Fast and Fun Writing with Kids, Quick Writing Online, and Keep Calm and Carry On.
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