Wow! Did I get myself into a muddle this time!
I am making a new set of interactive exercises, for teaching the names of body parts, to add to Strivney. I thought it would be fun to create an exercise in which the student chooses different elements – skin colour, eye and hair colour etc. – to make a face. Quandary, an application for creating interactive action mazes, is perfect for creating such an exercise, although it has quite a steep learning curve.
I started to create the graphics for the different permutations: dark skin, blue eyes, black hair etc. At first I had four different skin tones, four different eye colours and so on. Two hours into creating graphics and adding a separate page for each permutation to the Quandary programme, I am beginning to realise this is a crazy venture. I couldn’t see an end to the number of graphics I was going to have to make.
I sat down with my notebook and worked out that I would need 128 separate graphics to do what I planned. And this for an exercise which will take the student a couple of minues to complete! Even if I am hoping that the exercise will, over time, be used by hundreds or even thousands of students, it still wasn’t a practical proposition.
I decided to cut down the number of choices: skin tone dark or light, only 3 eye colours. This brought down the number of graphics I needed to create to about 60. Still crazy, but as I was half way into it now I didn’t want to abandon the idea.
Happily, I have completed the exercise. Take a look: Vocabulary – Body Parts. I’m quite pleased with it, although of course it doesn’t in any way reflect the amount of work that went into it.
I would like to make some more action mazes for teaching vocabulary to ESL young learners, to add to the free ESL teaching resources on the Strivney site, but I will far more cautious with the initial planning in future!
The complete body parts set will be ready in a few days and I will post the details.