Britannica Kids: Rainforests

This Britannica Kids: Rainforests app also includes:

Rainforests only cover about six percent of the earth's surface, yet they capture the imagination of everyone! Explore the rainforest flora and fauna with this informative and colorfully illustrated encyclopedia-style application.

4th - 8th Science 36 Views 15 Downloads
CCSS: Adaptable
App Overview

The main screen is a library of the following articles:

  • "What is a Rainforest?"
  • "Types of Rainforests"
  • "Layers of the Rainforest"
  • "Rainforest Plants"
  • "Rainforest Animals"
  • "People of the Rainforest"
  • "Rainforest Threats"

Expand the currently viewed article for easier reading or reduce to reveal the table of contents on the left side of the screen.

A nifty, dial-style, scrollable menu of icons at the bottom of the page provides:

  • Articles: Return to main screen
  • Animals A-Z: Encyclopedia pages on 21 featured rainforest animals
  • About
  • Brush-off: An activity where you brush away leaf litter to reveal a rainforest animal. Once it it is recognizable, user taps on the Name button in the upper-right corner and attempt to identify the animal by name. When correct, a tidbit of information appears.
  • Jigsaw Puzzles: A plethora of puzzles, each including some information about the featured animal in the photograph
  • Magic Square: The same photos used in jigsaw puzzles are cut into squares to shuffle into place
  • Map: An interactive map showing your location, the location of the world's rainforests, their distance from you, and a related photograph
  • Pics & Videos: Links to all of the photographs in the app and a few very brief video clips
  • Memory Match: A matching game with pairs from the same set of photographs. Upon finishing, the total number of moves is reported
  • Shop: Information on other Encyclopedia Britannica Kids apps
  • Quiz: A timed, ten-question, multiple-choice assessment of the entire content. A buzzer sounds for incorrect answers, and your total score can be saved. New questions are asked if you begin again.
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Rating Details

  • Adherence to task

    Most of the information is entertaining, but not educational

  • Worth the money

    Content can easily be obtained via an Internet search

  • Fun factor
  • Scaffolding of learning

    No instruction, but none is needed

  • User safety

    Allows you to browse other apps by the same publisher

  • Control and feedback
  • How techie do I need to be?
    Intermediate
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the rainforest app as an optional rainy day exploration activity
  • When working on meeting Common Core standards for reading informational texts or literacy in science, have individuals or pairs read a section and provide a summary for the rest of the class
  • During your biomes unit, have the app on-hand for learners who finish other class work early
Classroom Considerations

While the content is informative and interesting, and the photographs are attractive, the interactive features are not particularly educational. They consist mostly of puzzles involving the photographs and very little information. The quiz portion of the app is designed to be taken only after you have read all of the material presented. 

Pros

  • Gorgeous photographs of fauna and flora
  • Highlighted science terms can be tapped for a definition
  • Adaptable to Common Core State Standards
Cons

  • The few videos are of low-quality and less than one minute in length
  • No information on individual plants