Friday, November 29, 2013

Fall Digital Stories

One of our writing projects this trimester was to create a story with a Fall theme.  To being, my class started brainstorming their ideas on a handy graphic organizer that my teammate made.

On Step 1, the students had to come up with the plot of their story.  We had them stick to a few requirements so that their stories didn't become too elaborate!  This step was done on the first day in addition to brainstorming some of the ideas that they could write. 

On Step 2, the students had to plot out their story.  We talked about deciding on a proper place to end their pages and about what illustrations that they'd like to later add.  This step did not happen until after the students had edited and revised their rough drafts.

After the organizer was finished, it was time to go into digital publishing mode.  My first idea was to use Book Creator for iPad, but with only 4 iPads in the classroom and 27 students, my head started to spin.  My next thought was to do something with Google since all of my students have a Google Drive.  Originally, I was set on Google Drawing (which is similar to Publisher).  I liked the ease at which my students could move their text and illustrations around.  Insert Problem: Google Drawing only allows you to create one page at a time.  So....we moved onto Plan B, Google Presentation.  This still allowed my students the ease of moving their text and illustrations which is what I originally wanted. only got better from there!  By using Google Presentation, my students were able to animate their page turns and images.  They loved it!

Once we were in the publishing stage, I told my students that they need to have illustrations.  Half of their illustrations came from the Google search engine within the program and the other half were illustrated by themselves.  I ended up snapping picture of their images (with my iPad) and uploading them to their Google Drive (way easier then I ever thought).  

After all of our hard work, we had Digital Story Hour on Monday and Tuesday.  It was AMAZING!  I've never seen my kiddos so excited to share their stories. Best of all, we used the LCD projector in our classroom to display the stories and my students love it.  When the students finished sharing, the audience had to ask the author two questions.  The number one question that was asked was, "what inspired you to write this story?"  Their answers were priceless and I was able to learn so much about my writers with this question and project!

Here's a few samples of how some of our stories came out:


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