Appsmashing To Rebuild The Parthenon

Yesterday, I was working with a Year 3 class. Their history topic at the moment is Ancient Greece. They had already completed some geography work about Greece last half term so they knew a little about the context. As this was the start of their history work, I wanted to make a connection between the geography and history of Greece.

I showed the children some images of the Parthenon. We discussed what it was, why it might have been built on a hill, why it was built etc. Then we discussed what it might have looked like when it had first been built in the 5th Century BC.

The children located the Parthenon on the Google Earth app. The accessed snippets of information about it from the labels on Google Earth. Next, they went into Minecraft and set about the task of rebuilding the Parthenon as if it was intact both inside and out. They added what they thought the interior would have been like having learnt that it was built as  temple for Athena. They thought carefully about the construction materials they used, especially as they were effectively using what was available 2500 years ago.

Finally, they took screenshots of their creations and imported them into the Skitch app where they were able to label their creations with information they had learnt about the Parthenon and why they had chosen to include various items in the interior.

Here are some of the results which blew me away!

Photo 08-06-2015 10 39 58 Photo 08-06-2015 10 40 08 Photo 08-06-2015 10 24 22


Making Use Of The Apps That Are Pre-Installed With The iPad

There are many fantastic apps available from the App Store that can be used in lessons. It can be a mind-boggling wealth of choice. Many are free although some of the best ones come at a cost such as Explain Everything and Book Creator. I once heard some good advice about what apps to install on iPads in school. The advice was that you should look for a core set of apps that can be used for many purposes across different subjects rather than looking for subject-specific apps.

When your school buys iPads, they come with a range of apps built in or which you are offered free when you set the iPads up (Keynote, Pages, Numbers). The purpose of this blog post is to run through a few of them and how you might want to use them in your classroom.

Maps –

This app is great for learning about localities in Geography. Many of the major cities of the world have virtual flyover tours that show major landmarks of the city in question. Ch could take screen shots and import into Keynote or Pages adding information they have found out/been given by their teacher. Maps could also be used in Maths. Use the direction facility to find routes with multi stops and add up distances or subtract total distance from a given milage ‘budget’. They could even work out fuel costs etc. In History, if you are studying something such as the Jarrow March, you could plot the route on Maps and use the satellite function to take screenshots of all the places visited.


Apart from the obvious idea of taking photos and importing them into Keynote or Pages, there are other things you can do with the camera app. You could use the time lapse feature to create animations. You could use the video feature for many purpose from videoing a science experiment to bringing a narrative to life.


This comes with a stopwatch and timer. These could be useful for classroom routines such as tidying up, handing things out etc. The stopwatch could be useful in PE. The world times feature could be used when learning about time in Maths or in Geography lessons especially as you can add your own locations.


Again this could be useful for Maths time work. You could also use the ‘Day’ view in History lessons to write about a day in the life of a historical character..


I know of one teacher who managed to get in contact with somebody famous who was connected to something they were learning about in class. The class face-times this person asking them questions about what they did. You could also use FaceTime to share ideas/questions with other classes in school.


Very useful little app that children can use when they are researching something or when they are watching a video in class to make notes on. Saves paper and covering themselves in whiteboard marker.

Hopefully, some of these ideas will be useful to you.