Bringing the 7 Continents into a Play-Based Classroom

My Year Two class had a much loved class 'pet', a stuffed toy Monkey from Ikea that they named Chocolate. He was used in Term One as an oral language tool, as the children would take him home and share his adventures the next day with the class. One day however, Chocolate went 'missing'. We checked the 'security cameras' to see Chocolate walking around the class with his suitcase (thanks Instant Alpha in Keynote!) And then an email arrived, with a digital book attached...


I created multi-touch books that gave all learners in my class the ability to engage with content about a country that Chocolate was 'in'. The 'email' was created by screenshooting a blank email, and editing it in Preview to add text.


Inside the books were a postcard that gave the students an insight into some of the things Chocolate and his friend Cocoa (the class next door's stuffed monkey) were doing. By creating an oral recording of what was written, it meant even those who struggled with reading were able to learn about Chocolate's travels.


In Keynote, I created a 'scrapbook' with sketches of places that the monkey's were visiting, selfie photos that were created with instant alpha, and audio recorded a brief explanation of facts about each landmark.  

App smashing with My Talking Pet, Keynote and Clips I was able to insert the monkeys into different hotel rooms using the instant alpha tool. After exporting this as an image, I could import it into the 'My Talking Pet' app where I was able to animate the photo to make it appear to talk. By joining all these videos together in Clips, I created a 'vlog' that the monkeys included in the digital book- another way to ensure all learners were able to engage with the geography content regardless of their literacy levels.  

'Cocoa' sent the children a recipe from each country- providing much excitement when we tried to cook it as a class.


This task enabled the children to research countries from different continents- regardless of their academic level. For some, it provided the motivation to go further and to research more, whilst for others they were able to listen and comprehend facts of information. The children were exposed to a variety of communication styles- emails, postcards, vlogs, scrapbooks etc. and this prompted conversations about how we can communicate with those who we may not see everyday.

The children looked forward each week when an email would arrive- and it made the learning exciting as they mapped where Chocolate was each week on the large map. Another bonus was that the content was able to be delivered to children wherever they learnt- whether they were at home isolating, or at school.

Download some of the books for free here!

Chocolate in Brazil 

Chocolate in France

Chocolate in Antarctica

Chocolate in USA

Chocolate in Italy

Chocolate in Kenya

Chocolate in China

All Comments

Posted on November 04, 2022

Such a fun story and learning idea Melissa! Chocolate’s travels and your books are so engaging. How marvelous for the children! What a wonderful way to learn about countries of the world. Thanks for posting so we can follow Chocolate’s travels.

Posted on November 04, 2022

What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing about your workflow, so others can try something similar in their own classrooms!

Posted on November 21, 2022

Fantastic Melissa. Such wonderful, engaging and creative ideas. Thank you for sharing. 😃🙏👏👍

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