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Monday, May 5, 2008

Build Your Wild Self

I learned about Build Your Wild Self several months ago but I can't put my finger on the source so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due. This is a great site for helping kids learn about animals and the different features (wings, fins, claws, horns) that allow them to survive in their respective habitats. Students can create their own "wild self" much like they would create an avatar by picking a human head and body and then adding different animal body parts in place of their arms, legs, ears, eyes and much more. They can even select a background image for their creature. Once they are done they get to read about the different body parts they selected and see how those parts are unique to an individual animal and help that particular animal. I used Build Your Wild Self with my daughter's class last week since they were researching the different types of animals and they had a lot of fun creating their own wild creatures. The site doesn't require a log in or registration and when they were finished they could easily save their creature as an image file to use later in Power Point presentations they will be doing. Here are some other ideas I had on how teachers could use this tool.

  1. Students could create their own wild self and then use that image as their profile picture for different online tools they use. This would allow them to visually represent themselves in a safe way.
  2. Students could create a wild creature and then design a habitat that would be best suited for that creature based on the different body parts it had.
  3. Students could be assigned a habitat and then asked to design a creature that would be able to survive in that habitat.
  4. Students could create and name a brand new creature and write up an informational guide about their new creature. This could even be turned into a class book on mutant animals or some other catchy topic.
As with any tool like this the students (this was a 2nd/3rd split class) wanted to play a lot and had fun just clicking through the different body parts so I think it is important to allow time for some of this exploration before you ask them to complete specific tasks.

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