Choose Your Own Adventure Stories

Do you remember reading the old Choose Your Own Adventure Books?  

cyoa

Students can create these wonderful stories using either Google Forms or Google Slides.

Google Forms:

Step by Step Instructions Can Be Found Here:
https://goo.gl/n8H92a

Key Skill:  

  • Students must learn how to select “Go to section based on answer” inside their google form.
  • Don’t forget to add images to make the story more interesting.
Google Slides:

Step by Step Instructions Can Be Found Here:

http://www.controlaltachieve.com/2016/01/interactive-slideshow-story.html

Key Skill:

  • Students must learn how to link to “Slides in This Presentation”
  • Add an animated GIF to make the presentation more compelling.

 

Ipad Xmas Projects for Visualization in Reading and Writing

We know that when our students can visualize, their writing is descriptive and engaging.  Here are two seasonal projects teachers can do:

1. Create a rebus letter to Santa.

  • This can be done using applications of Book Creator or Explain Everything
  • add text and images to create the letter
  • extend the activity by asking students to include sound effects

2. Create a iMove

  • find a winter poem, and create an iMovie
  • find images, and sound effects
  • record the poem in iMovie
  • add effects and transitions
  • extension: have students create a movie for their own poemsSeasonal activities do not need to be crafts and music, try using WWP applications to create unique and engaging activities.

Research Skills

When asked about students and researching, most teachers feel that students are often lost when they begin researching online. It can be overwhelming for students, struggling to pick a topic, refining their search using keywords, or choosing valid reliable websites. It is important that teachers give students the tools they need to become critical thinkers as they search the vast web.

Probably the easiest thing to do is explain the terminology.  I am always amazed how many students and teachers, do not understand the difference between a browser and a search engine, or even what is a URL.  Students need to know that domain name in an URL can tell them so much about the owner of a site.

Before students begin research, do a general research on a topic to help students come up with key ideas or key words they could use in their search.  Use general reference sites such as WikipediSimpleWikipedia, or Wolframalpha,

It is important to ask the students to think about: Who created the site? What information is relevant, and reliable? When was the information posted? Why was the information published? Show the students a variety of different sites which are posted for fun.   I definitely like talking to students about tree octopus or flying penguins.  Use Wikipedi to show students that the sites were created for fun.

Try this fun activity

WebSitesstudent

When students are using search engines, talk to them about using key words, (“”),  (-), or  (*) if they are unsure of a word. Using the term “for kids” also refines the search for students.   If they are looking for a specific file then adding filetype:pdf to their search will limit the results to pdf only.  Substitute doc, ppt for pdf if looking for document or PowerPoint. Searching for pdf’s really is valuable for those students who have no access to internet at home.

The Google search engine has a variety of ways to narrow the search.  Try limiting search by choosing Search Tools. Search Country, Time.  Or change to “Request Desktop Site” and choose advance search and filter out words.

When you send your students off to research, make their initial researches successful by chunking the research for them.  One of our WWP teachers, (thanks Melissa) developed daily learning goals the students had to research.  Over the period of the research they collected these facts, and then were asked to present their research in a product of their choice.

Give the students choice in how to present their research and you will find that students are more willing to complete the research when they feel they have ownership for the project.

Creating Fictional Origins of Idioms

Idioms and jargons are used everyday in our lives. We know that for our EL Learners and a lot of students in our classes, idioms and jargon can be difficult.  As a literary device, idioms are extremely effective and add to “style” of writing.  Idioms are colourful, personal and vivid.   I could describe our WWP project as an effective or as a well oiled machine.  In order to have students use and understand we need to explore idioms for all our learners.

Exploring the literal  meaning of an idioms is fun and allows students to be creative with pen and pencil, or specifically with an app (Pic Collage, Explain Everything, Drawing Box etc) .fullsizerender

Years ago, students and I watched a funny podcasts from Animal Planet called Animal Crackers.  In this podcast actors portrayed two fictional and one historical story of where specific idioms originated.

Podcast

After watching one podcast an activity would be to challenge the students to create a similar type of media presentation.

  1. They could research meaning and origin of an idiom. 
  2. Create a literal and actual visual representation of idiom (as above)
  3. Create a script for two fictional origins and true origin. (Pages or Doc)
  4. Use another App to illustrate
  • Explain Everything
  • Bookcreator
  • iMovie
  • StopMotion
  • Scratch Junior

Using Stop Motion for A Compare and Contrast Poem

Students can create a variety of projects using Stop Motion, but using it to illustrate their poetry, can allow to students demonstrate their own perspective through visuals.  Creating an audio bite and back drops can established the mood of the poem.

Poems which contrast things are most effective.  Also Poems which have action words can be used.

Some Suggestion of Poems:

Haiku, Tanka, Cinquain, Quinzaine, Diamante or Contrast

Example of a Diamante:

I[youtube]https://youtu.be/Py4s-5ZVLMQ[/youtube]

 

Writing Newspaper Articles

Have you ever considered having students create newspaper stories or articles?  Or even full newspapers?

Students will learn to choose descriptive concise language when writing an article.

Keep these in mind:

  1. Start with a lead which captures the audience
  2. Give important details and facts (who, what, where, when, why and how) which are necessary components of an article
  3. Follow up by talking more about the main facts
  4. Try to remain unbiased
  5. Write a conclusion which restates the important facts
  6. Use pictures and captions

The basics of an news article can be taught by having students create bogus stories. One of my favourite examples of a creative writing activity is to have students find a picture and create a headline and article which misleads the reader.

Example of bogus story

Websites

http://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/

Newspaper Article

http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/newspaper-generator.html

http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp

http://www.newspaperclub.com/make-a-newspaper-online

http://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/
http://newspaper.jaguarpaw.co.uk/

 

There are several online sites that allow the student to generate an article or newspaper.

http://www.newspaperclub.com/make-a-newspaper-online
http://www.newspaperclub.com/make-a-newspaper-online

Creating Comics on your iPad

Comics are very powerful pieces of writing.  Students enjoy reading and creating comics. Two apps on the iPad,, Comic Life and BookCreator, allow students to create their own comics. ComicLifeSample

One of the best ways to engage your students in a story writing dialogue activity, is to use Comics.   What better way is there to show how writing dialogue needs to appropriate, clear and effective?  If their characters’ dialogue does not drive the plot, then the audience cannot follow their story.

Students can use Comic Life or BookCreator  to display their understanding of any topic in their non-fiction writing:

  1. Autobiographies or Biographies
  2. Speech Plan
  3. Instructional/Procedural Write
  4. Travel Guide
  5. Poster

Comic Life and BookCreator have many unique comic features and the purpose for using these features needs to be explained to students.

  1. Panels and Pages
    • a panel is like a paragraph, with one main idea
    • size of panel shows time and importance
    • we read panels left to right, top to bottom
  2. Pictures
    • Background
      • shows us setting
      • develops mood
    • Foreground
      • Characters and important objects
  3. Text Features
    • Captions
      • carries the narrative of the story
      • tells us about setting
      • explains what happens between panels
    • Speech and Thought Bubble
      • displays characteristic of characters
      • Is often the core text feature, giving the most information
    • Lettering
      • Onomatopeias
      • Title
You can also have students explore App Smashing by:
  1. Adding themselves as characters on a background in PicCollage
  2. In Drawing Box, create their own drawings and add to their comic
  3. Create their own characters in Avatar Creator

Here is student instructions for using Comic Life

ComicLifeiPad

and Comics in BookCreator

BookCreatorComics

The Power of Puzzles

What is the educational value for completing word puzzles?

This is a great question, that has been debated by many educators.

http://bit.ly/WWPpuzzlemaker
http://bit.ly/WWPpuzzlemaker

Working with spelling words and new vocabulary, seems like a justifiable use for using word puzzles.  However; when created by the teacher, the students require no creative thinking and often lack the comprehension and connection to the new vocabulary.   Sort of a worksheet in a different form.  So how do we “up” the value?  This value increases when you have them create their own word puzzles.

On the Discovery Education Site students can create

  • Crosswords

    Fallen Phrase
    Fallen Phrase
  • Word Search with Hidden Message
  • Criss-Cross Puzzle
  • Cryptograms
  • Letter Tiles
  • Fallen Phrase
  • Double Puzzles

All which link vocabulary to meaning.

After students have created their word puzzle, on the iPad hold finger on the image and download into photos.  In Photos share or upload the image into Notability and have students compete.

On macbook, right click on image and save.  Share via email or google drive then download image and add image to a notebook file and use pens to complete.