English - In the spotlight

27th January 2012 at 00:00

A wild night at the zoo

What is it?

The Night Zookeeper is a website that uses a zoo and mythical animals created by children to prompt creative writing, boost ICT skills and inspire real-life games and artwork for primary children.

How does it work?

A teacher logs on to the site and selects a code word enabling their whole class to "play". Children start by reading the Night Zookeeper story (think Night at the Museum) and create their own imaginary animals, which they paint or draw on paper before scanning them into the computer. The artwork can be uploaded on to the site, along with a definition of the animal and the child's story about it. There are also 10 "official" animals - including Christine the Chameleon (pictured below), the Night Butterfly and Florence the Flamingo - which have activities attached to them and could help children think of games and missions for their own imaginary animal.

Anything else?

Children can continue their work at home using their unique login. And teachers can set up a "school zoo" that lets them keep track of the animals their class has created. A new factual website on real-life animals is on the way from the same creative team. Watch this space.

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