App Chat General Lesson Plan
Audience: Parents/Caregivers/Educators of Young Children
Description: Learn how interactive apps and eBooks can be educational, empowering and entertaining
and how to select the best quality and age-appropriate apps and eBooks for children
Parents, caregivers and educators of young children are always seeking new resources for educating and
entertaining young children. This class will provide them with the knowledge and resources needed to locate,
evaluate and acquire age-appropriate apps for children. While, non-interactive media can lead to passive viewing
and overexposure to screen time for young children, apps, on the other hand, can be an interactive, engaging use
of digital media.
App Chat General Outline
(Advise participants they may bring their own devices)
-iPads (charged, apps installed, turned on before program)
-Room with seating capacity for 20 participants
-Chairs and tables for attendees
-Projection system (optional)
-Handouts/Links to resources (optional)
Become familiar with appropriate apps available for young children
Learn where to locate apps
Learn to evaluate the quality of apps available for children
Evaluation of apps available for children
Selection criteria for apps
Sources for app reviews
Apps and eBooks available from the library
5 min Introduce an App
High quality, well-regarded examples: Pigeon, Nash Smasher, Cat in the Hat
10 min Guided Activity – App Store
-Search for apps and review search results
-Examine information available before downloading apps
10 min Interactive Discussion – App Selection
-Lead the discussion drawing from Discussion Questions list
10 min Guided Activity – Sources for App Reviews
-Explore 1 site together
-Allow a few minutes for independent exploration
10 min Demo apps and eBooks from the library
Examples: Tumblebooks, OverDrive, AccessMyLibrary
10 min How to download apps (optional)
5 min App exploration/iPad free play
5 min Wrap up
App Selection CriteriaAppFunction
Consider… Questions to Ask
Purpose of app What does the app do? Educational? Entertainment?
Learning potential What can kids learn? How are skills acquired or
enhanced using this app?
Level of interactivity Engaging with a great learning approach? Encourage
Usability Who is the intended audience? Appropriate for your
Recommended by others What do the reviews say about the app? What are app
Privacy Does the app capture user information about the child?
Disclosures about sharing practices readily available?
Targeted advertising allowed?
Exposure to advertising Content of ads? Placement of ads? Frequency of ads?
Parental controls Available in the app? Control using device?
Cost Is the app free or fee-based? Is it free to download but
with In-App purchases?
Quality of text Language grammatically correct and free of typos?
Vocabulary level used?
Quality of graphics, images and photos Visually appealing? Age-appropriate?
Quality of audio Narrator easy to understand? What is the tone of
voice? Volume levels consistent?
Functionality Does the app work? Does it crash? Does it frequently
require an update?
iPad Story Time General Lesson Plan
Audience: Children, ages 2-5 and their parent/caregiver(s)
Description: Quality apps and eBooks are used for stories, rhymes, songs and interactive activities to enhance
the story time and learning experience. This engaging 30-minute program highlights early literacy and digital
literacy skills and promotes an enjoyment of learning through interactive and collaborative play.
Educational: Activities offered will support early literacy, digital literacy, and a variety of academic skill sets across
Entertaining: Children will have opportunities to learn through hands-on play using apps that include bright colors,
sounds and animation and will be engaged with the use of novel technologies.
Empowering: Children will be empowered by their ability to manipulate apps. They will explore cause and effect
relationships and play an active part in constructing their own learning through challenges and explorations.
iPad Storytime General Outline
-iPads (charged, apps installed, turned on before program)
-Books (thematic, appropriate for ages 2-5)
-“Sitting spots” (pieces of tape or other kind of seat markers to guide seated use of iPads)
-Early Literacy Tip of the Week (Early Literacy Tip handout that corresponds to concept explored in lesson)
Theme: Librarian can use prepared thematic lesson plans or can use this format to create a new themed lesson
plan to use in conjunction with apps already installed on the iPad.
Learning Objectives/Standards/Concepts Explored:
-Choose one of the Every Child Ready to Read Early Literacy Skills to highlight (though many can/will be explored in
a single program):
Phonological Awareness: The ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
Narrative Skills: The ability to describe things and events and to tell stories.
Print Motivation: A child’s interest in and enjoyment of books.
Letter Knowledge: Learning to name letters, knowing that they have sounds, and recognizing them
Vocabulary: Learning the names of things.
Print Awareness: Noticing print, knowing how to hold/handle a book, understanding that words have
meaning and learning how to follow written words on a page.
-Choose any other concepts, such as math, science, art, music, etc. to highlight if used.
-As participants enter, have thematic print books/materials available for browsing/checkout.
-Display Early Literacy concept of the day.
2 min. Welcome (Greeting/Song/Poem) and Introduction: Introduce self, theme.
5-10 min -Read story (print or eBook version)
-Story-based activity (movement activity recommended)
5 min iPad Instruction:
-Introduction: Show participants, the Power, Home and Volume buttons
-Location of app, basic instructions demonstration of how to use it.
-Remind participants that this is a seated activity
10 min App exploration/iPad freeplay
5 min Wrap up
-Clean up/Returning of iPads
Program Title/Theme: Farm Fun
Early Literacy Objective(s) Explored: Phonological Awareness; rhyming
-Explore rhyming text and call attention to words that sound alike.
-Reinforce vocabulary by encouraging children to name animals. Skills/abilities will vary by audience
-Familiarize children and caregivers with iPads and basic functionality.
-Guide children/caregivers to quality apps that promote and enrich reading and learning experiences.
-Books: Moo, Baa, La La La, and Barnyard Dance, both by Sandra Boynton (large edition board books).
-12 iPads (charged, apps installed, turned on before program)
-Apps used for this program (found in the “Farm Fun” app folder:
Barnyard Dance-Boynton, By Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
I Hear Ewe – Animal Sounds for Toddlers, By Claireware Software
Rhyming Words, By GrasshopperApps.com
Musical Me!, By Duck Duck Moose
Moo Baa La La La, By Loud Crow Interactive Inc.
-Thematic books pulled from collection--able to be checked out and appropriate for ages 2-5)
-“Sitting spots” (seat markers to guide seated use of iPads -- optional)
-Early Literacy Tip Cards: Phonological Awareness
-Participant survey cards and pencils
Entrance: As participants enter, have thematic print books/materials available for browsing.
-Display Early Literacy concept of the day: Phonological Awareness
Intro: Introduce self, theme.
-Read “Barnyard Dance,” by Sandra Boynton (large edition board book).
-Have children predict rhyming words or name animals.
-Have children/caregivers stand up and act out movements of animal characters.
-Show participants, the Power, Home and Volume buttons
-Read “Barnyard Dance,” using the app -- have children volunteer to demonstrate interactive elements.
-Review location of apps, and basic instructions for use.
iPad Free Play: Hand out iPads and encourage participants to spread out and explore the different apps
in the ‘Farm Fun’ app folder. Remind children to remain seated during this activity and to ask for help if
they need it. Remind adults that this should be an interactive activity with their child.
-Gather everyone back together and read Moo Baa, La La La, using the app as a wrap up.
-Thank for attendance; share info regarding where to find apps, mention online resources, adult App
Chat Program and any upcoming special/recurring children’s programs at the branch. Mention where
books/materials can be checked out.
Evaluation/Assessment: Cleanup/Evaluation: Request that adults take a moment to complete a brief
program evaluation before they exit. (Survey cards could be handed out toward the end of Free Play).
Optional Extension Activities:
-Explore the other apps in this plan, which include, rhyming, music, and animal sound activities.
-Play Simon Says with the actions used in the book, i.e. “Simon says, bow to your partner.”
-Create farm animal puppets that can act out the story