Developed by: Forest Giant, Inc.
Cute kid Sloan Graham, the bear-suit-clad main character of Forest Giant’s nonfiction app I Love Mountains (2012), has a passionate interest in the titular landforms. She shares fun geological facts about mountains through nineteen interactive pages, beginning by describing the three different types of mountains and the plate tectonics that form them over time. She goes on to highlight the largest mountains on Earth and Mars, and lists various flora and fauna found within mountain ecosystems. (The Horn Book)
Prepare to use this app by using either of the following activities:
- The Earth’s Many Layers: This awesome app explains what the earth is made up of and its many layers: the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. Help build context and background by making a small model earth. What you’ll need: blue, green, black, yellow, orange, and red play doh. You will use the following colors of play doh to re-create a smaller version of the earth’s layers with your child: red - inner core, orange - outer core, yellow - mantle, black, crust, blue and green for the land and water. Start by making a small ball with the red play doh. Then, completely surround it with the remaining colors. Make sure to start with the red (inner core), then the orange (outer core), yellow (mantle), black (crust), and lastly, add the green and blue to represent land and water. The coolest part about this is when you slice the earth in half - it beautifully reveals the inside of the earth and helps children understand all of its layers.
- So Many Mountains, So Much To Know! Activate your child’s prior knowledge and help build further background about mountains - a huge topic in this awesome app! Have a conversation with them about everything they already know. Help to facilitate the conversation with questions such as: Have you seen mountains? Where? What animals live there? What kinds of plants are there? What do you like about the mountains? Ask them about what they hope to learn while using this app? Have your child jot down what they already know and what they’d like to know...revisit this list while using the app. It will help them to see how much new information they learned from the app.
Help your child get the most out this app experience by trying any of the following activities:
Tap it! This app is really interactive. There are arrows and icons on each page that your child will tap and swipe in order to move on and hear more information. This is a great way to practice fine motor skills, practice object identification, and enjoy a tactile experience, too!
Purpose for Listening:
- New Vocabulary! Your child might encounter some unfamiliar vocabulary while using this app - that’s okay! Use this as an opportunity to learn new words in a fun way. As your child is using the app, ask them to stop when they hear a new word (some of these words might include any of the layers of the earth, magma, volcano, tectonic plates, erosion, and so on). Have them create vocabulary flashcards (on any kind of paper or index cards) that include the word, definition and an illustration. Go beyond flash cards by playing “Vocabulary Rock & Roll”. Have your child “draw” a flash card and roll a dice - their vocabulary activity depends on what they roll! 1- Define it, 2 - Draw It, 3 - What is something that means the same? 4 - Act it out, 5 - What does it remind you of? 6 - Something that means the opposite.
- The Different Kinds of Mountains! Another aspect of this app your child can focus on are the various types of mountains. Help your child to cut out a few mountains (any kind of paper will do). When they hear about a certain type of mountain, have them jot down the name on the cut out mountain. Encourage them to add the information they found interesting about it, whether it is how that type of mountain was formed, or an example of one. Ask your child to add color and illustrations as they see fit - they will likely want to add some of the different animals and plants that live on mountains!
Extend your child’s learning by using any of the following activities:
- Let’s Go! This app mentions so many beautiful mountain ranges - plan a fantasy trip with your child. Which one would they like to go to? Why? What animals would they like to see there? What plants would they like to encounter/eat? What fun activities would they like to do once there? Have a discussion about this, or if your child prefers, have them draw and illustrate their perfect fantasy trip.
- I Didn’t Know That! We hope this app taught your child something new! Talk to you child about the difference between facts and opinions. A fact is true and can be proven while an opinion is a view, judgement, or feeling. What did they think were the absolute coolest facts they learned from this app? Why? Help them to make the connection between facts and opinions; everyone might have a different opinion on which fact they thought was the coolest! Another way to illustrate the difference between facts and opinions would be to discuss or list a few facts about mountains (or any topic from the app) and then talk about some personal opinions about them as well.