If customization and edupreneuralism is the not-so-distant future for districts, than authentic opportunities for students to publish their own work is the equivalent trend for the classroom.
I have to say I quite accidentally happed upon these winsome student-created iBooks in a twitter feed. Truly, I do not use the word “winsome” lightly… these exceptionally creative inquiry books are charming and delightfully designed.
- The Adventures of Tom Triceps and Brittany Biceps by Elaine Zhu
- Ardelia Does a Cartwheel by Ardelia Tjandra
- The Adventure of Oxylia the Oxygen Bubble by Adinda Aaisyah
- The Big Adventure of Berry by Daeun Jung
- Oxy’s Adventure by Luna Ojanpera
Scientific Narrative Story: Each book is a narrative story that blends scientific fact and fantasy with a dash of personification. While the books encompass multiple technologies from hand drawn images to text written in Pages, the final product was assembled in Book Creator.
Behind the Story: A “Behind the Story” section reveals the thorough process from inquiry to publication.
Research and Resources: Clearly research and inquiry were main dishes for this project and were even included in the reference section at the end of each book.
About the Author: And of course no book would be complete without an Author Page.
Beyond the Book: So impressed with the transformative work that these five fourth graders recently published, I decided to dive a little deeper and get an exclusive interview…via a Google Form.
How Did You Organize Your Research?
- “I had to make a resources list. I had to go to the book from the school library and look on the front page to find the author and then I added the title and the book page. I also did this for information found on the Internet.” – Luna Ojanpera
Can You Tell Me More About Your Inquiry Book?
- “The unit of inquiry was about different body systems, my system was about the muscular system. We learned about the unit in different ways. We worked with the grade 12 students, we made experiments, we watched films and we read books. We had to find many questions for ourselves to learn about body systems. The inquiry book is where we keep all our notes.” – Ardelia Tjandra
What Was the Most Challenging Part of the Project?
- “Learning to say all of the difficult science words correctly for my eBook recording words like duodenum. Writing the story was also really hard.” – Daeun Jung
- “Drawing the pictures for the book. I found it hard to draw the neurons because I had to Google first to see what they looked like.” – Elaine Zhu
What Was your Favorite Part of Creating this Real Information Book?
- “I really liked finding all the facts. I watched videos from the Brain Pop website to find a lot of my information. I also read books.” – Elaine Zhu
What Advice Would You Give Other Children and Students Looking to Publish Their Own Book in iBooks?
- “My advice that is you must have access to good resources and helpful teachers to guide you.” – Ardelia Tjandra
- “You need to make sure that you know the facts properly. You have to be ready to make lots of drafts.” – Elaine Zhu
How/Why is this Different From an In-Class Project That is Not Published to a Worldwide Audience?
- “It’s different because it took a long time and we needed to find out a lot of new information. I wanted to make sure that the people who would read my book could understand it. I tried to use easy language to make it better for others to read.” – Luna Ojanpera
- “When you publish a book, everyone in the world can download and read your book. It made me want to work harder.” – Adinda Aaisyah
What is One Thing that Surprised You During this Inquiry and Publishing Process?
- “The thing that surprised me was that I never thought that I could publish a book in English that is about a body system. My first language is Chinese. I also never imagined that students in America could download and read my book.” – Ardelia Tjandra
What Would You Like Other Students To Know About Your Books?
- “I want people to know that I actually come from Finland and English is not my first language. This was hard for me to make this book but I succeeded and my book was published by Apple.” – Luna Ojanpera
- “My book really explains in detail about how neurons work to send messages. This was hard for me to learn about but I think that I have explained it really well.” – Elaine Zhu
Jane Ross (@JaneinJava), their teacher, mentor, and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator has curated a few additional resources to shed some light from the instructional point of view:
- Putting Publishing into the Hands of Students
- Books Published on the iBooks Store
- Books by Jane in Java
She also has a comprehensive FREE iBook on the topic available entitled “Creating Authentic Stories for the iPad: Publishing Student Authors on the iBooks Store”.
While these books definitely reflect robust inquiry and research as well as clear understanding of their topics… we cannot dismiss the vital role and impact that publishing to a global audience has on our students.
“We publish not just to complete our books but to share them beyond our community and place our stories into the hands of people across the world.” – Jane Ross
Additional Content-Focused Book Samples:
- The Life of An Eanes Pioneer Child
- Students Are Stars with iBooks Author
- History by the e-Book
- Publishing Legends in Second Grade
- Book Creator Project Resources and Examples for Math
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- ETT Summer iPad Workshops in August (Austin)
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- Learning Forward 2014 (Nashville)
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