I had the pleasure of observing Mrs. Lair’s Regular Reading class this past Friday at Ed White Middle School. She had mentioned that she was using the Toontastic app (which oftentimes goes on sale for FREE) to have students create their own fairy tale or toon version similar to the plight and struggle of the Freedom Riders to illustrate the conflict and resolution between two entities. I loved the cross-curricular integration.
Mrs. Lair provided students with a paper copy of the Toontastic Storyboard template she had created to complete prior to using the iPad. It mimicked the 5 sections of Toontastic’s Story Arc (Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and Resolution). She also included a statement about each of the scenes:
- Setup: only sets up the setting and introduces the character
- Conflict: Introduces the problem
- Challenge: Problem is in the works (action)
- Climax: The height of the story
- Resolution: How has the problem been resolved? (How does the story end?)
Supports Differentiated Instruction: Beyond the project itself, I was pleased to see how the app itself supported differentiated instruction and multiple learning styles. Within the story arc framework, students could add another conflict or rearrange the current elements. Students also had the choice between multiple characters and settings as well as the option to create their own characters and backgrounds. Some students chose to use the default characters, others drew their own sets, and others customized the existing characters. Some students chose to use mood music and sound effects to illustrate tone and others selected specific characters and colors to represent an emotion.
Sharing/Publishing/Evaluating Student Products: While there is no way to publish without setting up an account, students did save their projects within the app. To work around the publishing issue, Mrs. Lair decided to have students do a gallery walk and will provide each student with a rubric to assess each of the project as they walk around the room.