Developed by:Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island HD is a science teacher’s dream. Going beyond the typical 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), this simulation app invites users to learn how particular actions affect the environment in positive and negative ways. Users are responsible for constructing and maintaining their own little green island, and exercise problem solving and creativity skills to address eighteen different challenges. The fact that users control the outcomes makes the learning even more meaningful.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
Cause and Effect
This app is full of if/then moments. Learning about cause and effect helps readers delve deeper into subjects and strengthen reading comprehension. Essentially, a “cause” is seen as the why something happens while an “effect” explains what happened. Help your child explore the relationship between two things by playing a cause and effect game. Give your child a scenario with a cause and have him/her provide the effect. For instance, you could say, “If you eat your vegetables…” Your child’s response may be, “I will have more energy to run around.” Create causes that fit into your child’s life so s/he has some context.
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read More About It!
Begin your journey by reading amazing picture books with your child. As you read, vocalize your thoughts. Is there something you’re wondering about? Did you read something that added to what you already knew? By making your thinking “visible”, you’re teaching your child to listen to his/her own reading voice and monitor his/her reading.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry
Reusing and Recycling (Help the Environment) by Charlotte Guillain
DK Eyewitness Books: Ecology by Brian Lane and Steve Pollock
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
Which One Are You?
If your household is full of little scientists, you’re in luck because this app allows up to 4 user profiles on one account. This is great for bigger households, or if your child is looking for a trial and error island. For instance, your child may have the first user profile as the “real” island for him/herself, while utilizing a second user profile as an “oopsie” island to test out different outcomes for each challenge. An “oopsie” island provides your child with a safe space to see “oopsies” come to fruition and experience the polluted effects for themselves. Essentially, this will make learning more meaningful and hopefully realize that the greener choices are the better choices.
One motivating element in this app is the ability to collect green bucks. Green bucks are earned for completing eco-friendly activities such as cleaning up trash and freeing birds stuck in oil spills. Children then spend their green bucks in the market to buy trees, ponds, flowers, and other solutions to common environmental problems on their island. Encourage your child to explore the market items and think about the long-term effects of certain purchases. What are the benefits of spending green bucks on a windmill vs. solar panels? Is it better to buy landscape accents or trees?
Extend the app experience with a real life activity:
What better way to study the earth than to go on a nature walk? Grab a small notebook and pencil so your child can record his/her observations. Walk around the neighborhood or take a trip to the local park and use your five senses to examine the environment. Write sentences and/or draw pictures to illustrate what’s around you.
What sounds do you hear?
Notice any smells?
Look for different natural elements that support various habitats, such as a pond or a tree.
What plants, animals, and insects are in the area?
What would happen if certain elements disappeared? How would that affect the animals that live there?
Is there any garbage present that could be picked up?
How clean are the land, water, and air?
Ask your child to make connections back to his/her island. What lessons were learned through the app that could be applied to what you observed in your own neighborhood?
Let’s Do This!
Take action to make the world a better place to live. Think about ways that you and your family could protect or create a healthy environment. It may be as simple as planting flowers or hanging birdfeeders that attract certain birds or insects. Perhaps you want to start inside your home by encouraging people to turn off the lights or TV when leaving a room. Others prefer to ride bikes to local places to avoid adding car emissions to the atmosphere. Here are some kid-centered websites to check out for more ideas: