Animal Teeth and the Explain Everything App

This week we were wondering about animal teeth in Grade 1.  Here are some of the questions that the kids asked:

  • Why don’t owls have teeth?
  • If crocodiles live in swamps, why don’t their teeth rot?
  • Why are a lion’s teeth so sharp?

After some professional searching for Grade 1 resources (I usually look through Pinterest, OERB, Tumblebooks, YouTube, and a simple google search) I found the book What If You Had Animal Teeth by Sandra Markle.  Better yet, it was in my school’s book fair this week so I was able to purchase it! But if not, it was in our school’s library as well!

While I was away at our meeting and the Grade 2 PLC, the students read the book and discussed with their elbow buddies each page.  My supply said they were so engaged and just wanted to keep talking about each page with their classmates.  On the second day, they read it again and then chose an animal of their choice.  They completed this sheet that I found on TeachersPayTeachers to draw themselves with the animal’s teeth but also label it with the correct spelling.  WhatIfYouHadAnimalTeethCraftivityTemplate.

When I returned Thursday, we had a community circle to share our animals.  Then they sorted themselves into alike groups, in the end they were sorted into Carnivores and Herbivores with sharp or flat teeth.  Afterwards, I attached an iPad to the SmartBoard and gave then a quick overview of how to use the app Explain Everything.

On Friday, I showed the students how to use Explain Everything again.  We used one of the student’s work as an example.  She took a picture of her animal, added two titles (her name,  the animal she chose) and recorded herself describing the type of teeth her animal had.  We then exported it to the camera roll of the iPad.

After that, they went with their elbow buddy and an iPad to give it a try.  To be honest, I did not think they would get very far.  But WOW was I wrong.  After ten minutes, many students were done and the next student was working on theirs.  After 20 minutes, some groups were coming up to me finished! So I added the challenge: Can you post your video your blog? Well again, they shocked me! 4 or 5 groups were able to create both their Explain Everything Videos and post them to their blogs in 30 minutes!

Since they were so keen to share, I gave them an extra twenty minutes after recess for the remaining groups to finish and post to their blogs (The finished groups did their normal routine of Math Calendar).  4 of the students were not able to finish in that time, so I promised we would do ours together as a group Monday morning because we had to get moving on.  We then watched our videos on our blogs through the Smartboard.  They were so engaged and the smile that came across their face was amazing when we watched their video!

I was so impressed with how quick they figured out the app and how they were able to post them (talk about a multi-step problem!).  I was also impressed with their editing skills, many were double checking they spelled their animal’s name and the word “teeth” correctly by using their sheets, their peers, and a chart we had created a few days ago about teeth.  They were taking a lot of pride in their work.

You can view their Explain Everything videos on their blogs.  Our classroom blog is and their blogs are linked on the side.  Here are a few though:





Next week, are going to continue using the book and the Explain Everything App.  I am going to take pictures of the book and post them on our classroom blog.  Then with a buddy, they will read the page (we have already read the book 4 times) and complete the matching graphic organizer.  I found these graphic organizers on TeachersPayTeachers.  The students will need to identify and write three facts about the animal they selected.

WhatifyouhadAnimalTeethbySMarklePictureBookActivities (1)

Afterwards, I am going to have the students create an Explain Everything video sharing their three facts.  Their success criteria will include:

  • Title
  • Three facts with matching picture.
  • Oral Recording explaining the three facts.
  • Posted video to blog.
We shall see how it goes! Will post when they are available for viewing!

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