Friday, February 6, 2015

Digital Storytelling with Toontastic

What is better than our students watching videos? Of course, creating them and sharing their learning with others.  This is what my fourth graders quickly discovered as they began creating videos focusing on content curriculum.  Let the FUN and LEARNING begin!

As most educators know by now, Launchpad Toy Creators of Toontastic and TeleStory were bought by Google and are now free apps.  There is also talk of a new YouTube version just for kids.

Toontastic was a huge hit in our classroom just after one day of using it as a learning tool. My fourth graders were empowered as they drew, animated, narrated and recorded their own cartoons using district curriculum and essential objectives.

Our students are sponges when it comes to technology, and they were able to quickly share suggestions and tips on how to use Toontastic.

Toontastic Movie Trailer

Prior to creating their cartoons, students completed a story map to outline their project.
Great Graphic Organizer to Use Toontastic Story Desgin Worksheet
After their outline was complete, just how easy was it?  

Create the Setting First
To create the setting, all you do is double tap the Setup. Students have a huge selection of background templates to select from for each scene. Their settings may also be drawn with tools provided or pictures on their camera roll may be imported.

Create Characters
There is a large selection of characters and props for students to choose from. They may use themselves as characters or create their own with the drawing tools provided.

Animate and Move Characters as You Record
Characters and props can be rotated and their size can be adjusted or changed. To begin narrating, students tap the Start Animation button at the top of their screen. Characters and props can be moved around as students are narrating. Each scene can be recorded for up to 60 seconds. Students can add music to the background depending on the mood and tone of each scene. The emotions can be scaled up or down for intensity.

After the first scene students decide what will happen next.
A "Story Arc" is used to guide the structure of each story. After the Setup, students can create a Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and then a Resolution. The order of the story elements can be changed and put in any order.

After students complete their work, they send it to 
iMovie to edit and then off to YouTube.

Here are a few of the projects my fourth graders created using our curriculum. I will be adding more next week as students share their work to YouTube.

Encyclopedia Brown-Selection Vocabulary

Social Studies-The Declaration of Independence

Treasure in the Cemetery - Adventure Story


Spelling-Words their Way Word Pattern

Science Essential Objective focusing on Alcohol and Drugs

Reading Skill-Summarizing

What did some of my students have to say about Toontastic

Tia C. - I love Toontastic! I like how you are able to take a picture of yourself.  It is also great how you can tie the app into subjects you are learning about. I would suggest adding more time to record. This is an amazing app to use.

Sean L. - I like how you can change characters that are already made. You can also make your own person. I love how you can show learning and the people can move around and talk. 

Brie B. - I really like how many characters there are. I love how you can make your own characters and background.  Plus there is a wide selection.  I wish you were able import a character.

Natalie M. - I like how there are multiple backgrounds.  You can create your own characters and background.  If you like creating things, this is the app to use.  Compared to showing your learning using paper/pencil, this app is great! One suggestion is to add the curtains at the beginning when you export it.

There are so many possibilities for using Toontastic in the classroom. Launchpad offers great resources and ideas on how educators can use it with students.