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Handel, Empathy and a Quill

Handel's QuillHandel, Empathy and a Quill

The culminating adventure with George Frideric Handel was an experience with empathy and a quill. After the windows were blackened and the lights were turned off, the children felt their way inside a 12’x 12′ black tent inside the music room.  In the pitch black darkness,  they [click to continue…]


Handel And The Curious Boys

Handel and the Curious Boys logo

The Story of Handel and the Curious Boys…

is a perfect example of how unanswered questions fuel the desire to learn. After exploring the life and times of Bach and Handel and empathizing with the difficulty of life in the 1700’s, a group of boys asked a fantastic question, “How did Bach and Handel play a pipe organ without electricity?” [click to continue…]

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Flat Handel and the Mystery Tent Part II


Flat Handel Adventure logoCuriosity & Empathy in the Music Class

Flat Handel and the Mystery Tent Part II: The mystery tent was the perfect place to bring together curiosity and empathy in the music class. Students were curious why Handel was sneaking up into the attic to play music. When they discovered… [click to continue…]


Flat Handel and the Mystery Tent

Flat Handel Adventure logo

The Adventures of Flat Handel and the Mystery Tent is a story that started inside a dark, dark tent with a picture of little boy who sneaked up in the attic to play music against his father’s wishes.

But before I tell you the rest of the story, remember……. [click to continue…]

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Help! I Need Interactive Holiday Activities and Ideas

Do you need interactive holiday activities and ideas?

interactive holiday activities ideasOf all the months in the teaching year, December is my favorite.  Unfortunately, there is so much to do and so little time to plan memorable activities for our students.  Here are six of my favorite kid-tested interactive holiday activities and ideas for the music classroom.
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Bulletin Boards on Steroids

Bulletin Boards on Steroids

How can our students experience another culture without going there in person? How will they ever truly compare the things that are the same and different with just pictures? Using augmented reality and iPads, the culture of France came to life for each of our students this year when I created a bulletin board on steroids. I used Aurasma + iPads to create an extraordinary global exploration.

For 17 days this past summer, I traveled throughout France with a mission to bring back stories, pictures, and information to share with our elementary students during this school year. Our school selects a faculty member from each division to send to another country, and in return, those selected are charged with leading the year-long study of that country; I was lucky enough to go to France.

Using technology to do the inconceivable!Groceries in rolling bag lady AZ

My mind was set on experiencing everything in France through the eyes of my elementary students. What would they notice? What would they want to see, touch, and smell? What would they think when they saw all of the different foods? Where could I go that would capture their interests and how could I explain the adventure in a way that they would remember? I took hundreds of photos, but pictures are so boring, so stagnant. With the use of technology, I created a bulletin board on steroids as I was able to do something previously inconceivable. I used the Aurasma app on the iPad to bring every picture to life.

aurasma-app-iconThrough augmented reality, my students saw everything I saw, they tasted and smelled right along with me, they walked on the bumpy streets of Paris and the pebble beaches in Nice; they turned on the lights and flushed toilets; they climbed the steps to Sacré-Cœur, saw the breathtaking view, and giggled at the accordion player on the subway back down.  My students walked down the dank passageway and touched the stacked bones in the Catacombs; they even counted sculls and estimated bodies: perfect for Halloween!!  They saw the “Sharks” swimming around the motes of the castles, walked through a secret passageway, and noticed the sharp edges of the meat cleaver used over 1000 years ago. French school children sang, “Let it Go” for my students and we watched them play and learn just like we do at our school.  A famous pastry chef, a candy maker, and many others welcomed our students to France. How was this possible? I used the Aurasma app to link videos to the pictures . The AURA, created  magically when scanned, brought experiences from my travels home to our students and connections were made.

Bulletin Boards on Steroids: Same or Different in France?

Here is one of the “Same or Different” bulletin boards on steroids in the hallway. Each image is linked to a corresponding video that begins playing when the image is scanned with the Aurasma app on the iPad.

Aurasma + iPads: Extraordinary Global Exploration

Here are just a few of the examples.

If you would like to experience the Aurasma aura like my students, follow these directions and then return to scan each image. same or different 22

Bulletin Boards on Steroids: Food in France

I  created another bulletin board on steroids with videos of my experience eating the food while in France.  If you follow these directions, download Aurasma and follow my channel, you can see a few of my experiences buying, tasting, and eating French food.FYI,  I did NOT like the white asparagus

Bulletin Boards on Steroids: Endless Possibilities

Just imagine all that can be learned using augmented reality when studying another culture! With the ability to turn a stagnant image-filled bulletin board into a living, breathing adventure, exploring everything outside the reach of our school becomes an adventure like none other. Think of it: I can show a picture of the fluffy, runny eggs at Le MontSaintMichel, but my students would never hear the rhythmic sounds of the whisks whipping the eggs to just the right consistency. I can show a picture of a little boy playing with his remote control car in the park, but when my students watch that same little boy teasing a toddler by keeping the car just out of reach, they realize that children across the pond are just like they are: playful and mischievous. My students know all about going to the sandy beach, but when I show them our feet actually walking, with great difficulty, on the pebble beach of Nice, their minds are filled with questions. The examples are endless and the possibilities are too.

Making Connections:

What if students used the interactive bulletin board auras as writing prompts to journal their discoveries about the country of study? Our students have a much better understanding of and curiosity about the country of study after interacting with the Aurasma images. Making connections across all subjects is much easier when students have done more than just look at an image. Yes, we can show images and videos, but when the image actually goes with the video in a magical augmented reality way, our students are completely engaged. We are doing the inconceivable!

Go Forth and Create Auras!!

What about you? What stagnant images, what boring bulletin board can you bring to life for your students? What experiences can you bring into your classroom just by creating an augmented reality aura? Use augmented reality to ignite curiosity on multiple levels. Use Aurasma + iPads to create an extraordinary tale of global exploration and be sure to share your story with others!

Plan ahead! If not this year, dream BIG and do it for next year. Let’s brainstorm all of the ways we could use Augmented Reality in our classroom.

I’ll help you!!




P.S. If your country of study is France, I have many, many, many Aurasma images to share.