I’ve written previous blog posts about QR Codes in the Classroom and Talking QR Codes, and talked about how they are becoming more prominent both in our daily lives and in an educational context. I recently used QR Codes with my 1st Class pupils to teach a little about Animal Homes. We had been doing a unit of work on Houses and Homes in SESE: Geography and we were learning about different types of homes, homes in other lands, homelessness and lastly animal homes.
At the same time, we had been learning how to create Mind Maps in English so I wanted to create a Mind Map on Animal Homes. The pupils created a Mind Map for homework on the names of animal homes that they knew. Most came up with the names of 5/6 animal homes, which was fine. The next day in school, I created a large Mind Map on the board and gathered together the names of all of the names of animal homes that the pupils had gathered for homework. At this stage I was just interested to know that the pupils could read the names of all of the homes.
They then worked in groups to talk together about which animal homes they knew about and which ones they didn’t. The groups varied on their knowledge of the different homes, which was great. Next the pupils created their own Mind Maps on a sheet of A4 paper. We had done a few of these already, so they were quite used to the format and layout of the Mind Map. At this time we also Tweeted on our class Twitter Account about what we had been learning about animal homes.
That evening I created a set of QR Codes on the QR Stuff website. I embedded some text into each code which explained a little about what animal lived in which home. I printed out the Animal Homes Flashcards and created a display on a corridor noticeboard. I spread out the flashcards on the noticeboard and placed a QR Code beside each flashcard. The pupils worked in groups using the free i-Nigma App on their iPods to scan the codes. Their job was to read the information in each QR Code to discover which animal lived in which home and to record that information on the Mind Map that they had created the previous day.
This was a great series of lessons which the pupils really enjoyed. It certainly took some time to prepare in the creating of the QR Codes, the printing and laminating of the flashcards and mounting the display. However, these lessons covered so much ground with the pupils and it integrated lots of areas of the curriculum – Geography, English reading, English writing, oral work, working in groups, SPHE – and finally we used technology to complete the last part of the lesson.