Presentation tips for Tick Bait’s Universe
I have had the pleasure of demonstrating Tick Bait’s Universe to several 5th and 6th grade classes at two different elementary schools. From those presentations, I can say that Tick Bait’s Universe makes an engaging and wonderful class period for both students and instructor. For kids, a presentation of Tick Bait’s Universe makes for an educational and engaging class session. For teachers, it is a valuable science lesson with very little preparation. Let Tick Bait’s Universe do the work. It is also fun to watch kids learn as a group and start to comprehend the scale of the universe.
Here are some tips I have found useful when I present Tick Bait’s Universe. These tips will also be useful to parents who decide to sit down with their child and go through Tick Bait’s Universe one on one.
Before you begin
- Estimate Time – The worst thing you can do is say, “Today we will cover all of Tick Bait’s Universe”. There just isn’t enough time. When I present this app, I don’t want to be in a hurry because I like to encourage discussion and small group activities on several pages.Ideally, I would like two to four minutes per page. So, in a 45-minute class period, you can comfortably only cover about 15 pages.
- Select Page Segments to Present – Since you cannot cover all of Tick Bait’s Universe in one class period, you need to select which pages you will cover. I would select specific pages depending on the ages of your students and the science content you are currently covering in class.
Here are some page segments I recommend for specific ages and to cover specific content.
For Kindergarten – Second Grade
- Explore Big Stuff – Pages 100 through 1015
Explore our world, our atmosphere, the Earth and the solar system. Watching Tick Bait in her backyard, neighborhood, city and world is fun for this age group.
- Explore Small Stuff – Pages 100 through 10-15
Explore the microscopic things living on Tick Bait.
* For second graders and younger, consider presenting this app in the purely visual portrait mode on the iPad.
Second – Eighth Grade – Support Science Unit the Class is Studying
- Atmospheric Science – Go from 100 (Tick Bait) to 108 (Earth)
- Astronomy – Go from pages 108 (Earth) to 1021 (Milky Way Galaxy)
- Microscopic Life – Cover pages 100 (Tick Bait) to 10-8 (DNA)
- Atoms and Sub-Atomic Particles – Go from pages 10-8 (DNA) to 10-17 (The Up Quark elementary particle within protons)
- Stay Linear – Tick Bait’s Universeis designed to be non- linear. That means for kids who play with it by themselves, they can jump around the app and explore what they want, when they want. That’s to be expected.Presenting Tick Bait’s Universe is a different story. When presenting to a group, it is best to move through Tick Bait’s Universe in a linear fashion. Normally you would start from page 0, Tick Bait, and they go up or down page by page from there. Going in a linear path through the app allows learners to compare the size of similar objects, such as bacteria and viruses, thus letting them get a better sense of the scale of those objects.
- Play Tick Bait – When starting from page 0, one meter above Tick Bait, I like to makes sure that the kids know the length of one meter. To show them hoa long a meter is, I ask for two volunteers. One plays Tick Bait and sprawls out” on the floor like Tick Bait. The other student stands above “Tick Bait” and holds his hand out one meter above Tick Bait. Have the rest of class help the “standing person” decide where one meter is above the “Tick Bait” volunteer. You might want to bring out a meter stick to be sure that their measurement is correct.
- Make Prediction: Next Page: Tick Bait’s Universeis excellent at showing the comparative size of objects in the universe. Many of these size comparisons are much, much greater than we initially believe. Many of us, especially children, have incorrect assumptions about the size of these objects in the universe. For example people know the sun is larger than the earth, but most assume it is 10, 100 or 1000 times large when in fact it is 1.3 million times larger by volume than the earth.One of my goals while presenting is to get kids to “unlearn” as much as they learn. I don’t just teach them the right answer and new information, I also want them to realize that any incorrect assumptions they may have are, in fact, incorrect. Therefore, before I go to the next page in Tick Bait’s Universe, I ask them to predict what they think they will see on the next page.
For instance, when on Tick Bait’s Universe page 1013, the kids see the orbits of the planets in our solar system. At that point I will ask, “What do you think you will see on the next page going up?” Someone always predicts they will see the Milky Way Galaxy on the next page or in the next few pages. This is incorrect. The Milky Way is much, much larger than our solar system. In fact one has to go up eight more Tick Bait pages before they see the Milky Way galaxy. By comparing their predictions to the correct answers they learn that many of their assumptions are incorrect. Also, if I can get kids to verbalize these incorrect assumptions, I can address them or steer Tick Bait’s Universe to address them.
- Make Prediction: Questions at Bottom of Page: Have the class do each question at the bottom of the page as a group. Read the question aloud and then ask the kids what they think the answer is. If it is a “true or false”, or “yes or no” question, have them raise their hands to vote on what the right answer is. Then, select the button that garnered he most votes. Then discuss the feedback and the answer on the answer page, especially if a majority of the class got it wrong.
These are a few of the techniques I have used while presenting Tick Bait’s Universe. If you present Tick Bait’s Universe to your class, let us know how it went. We would love any feedback you might have. Let us know how these techniques worked for you. Please feel free to suggest or share any other presentation techniques that you find useful while presenting this app.