First Grade Workflow Fluency

As first graders are learning about the butterfly life cycle, we wanted to stay away from usual activities such as coloring in a pre-printed coloring page. INSTEAD of such an activity (created by others) and a quiz about recalling the different stages of the life cycle as assessment, we decided to have students built on their knowledge and fluency of creating a collage and CREATING a visual of their learning. The digital visual was to become an artifact for their student portfolio.

Our first graders are working weekly on a Hebrew visual dictionary on the iPad PicCollage app. They are very comfortable with the app itself. We were ready to spill over from Jewish studies into their General Studies class and push them on their workflow (fluency) with the iPad.


  1. we reviewed the stages of a butterfly
  2. showed students a National Geographic video of the life cycle
  3. modeled the creation of a PicCollage Butterfly poster by breaking down each step
  4. embedded digital citizenship (images copyright issues)
  5. emphasized the workflow of :
  • choosing appropriate tools/apps (critical thinking)
  • navigating to website ( workflow, information literacy)
  • searching for images (information literacy, critical thinking, creativity)
  • saving images (workflow)
  • switching apps (workflow)
  • browsing for images> importing images > editing images > adding text (workflow)
  • designing (creativity)
  • saving (workflow)
  • emailing final product (workflow, communication)


I was impressed by our 6 & 7 years olds to get to work, able to follow along the workflow path, some having a little trouble with spelling some of the words, but ALL comfortable with tapping, swiping, switching between apps, pinching in and out, editing, saving images and simply knowing that these images will be waiting for them in their Photo Album to be used in another app.



This activity was NOT about using the iPad app, it was about creating a visual of their learning. It was about workflow, skills and creativity.

The emailed collages, will be placed on student blogfolis with a written or audio reflection of their creation or learning process.

butterfly4  butterfly2

talia  masha

Interested in other “upgraded” activities for first graders and a butterfly unit? Take a look how last’s year first grade students created an ePub iPad book for the world as the culmination of their unit of study of butterflies.