Saturday, January 28, 2017

Digital Storytelling with Toontastic 3D

What is better than our students watching videos in class? 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 a mystery they recently wrote.  What's better yet, Toontastic 3D is free! Let the FUN and LEARNING begin! 

Toontastic 3D was a huge hit just days after my fourth graders started creating stories. Excitement filled the air as they drew, animated, and narrated their own three-dimensional adventures. Toontastic 3D is an easy for students to use in any curricular area. From school reports to science experiments, the possibilities are limitless. 

Toontastic 3D Movie Trailer

Getting Started
Students have a choice of creating a short story, classic story, or science report. Since our writing genre was mysteries, students selected the classic story. An 'idea lab' of sample animations are also provided to help get you started. There is a video lesson on storytelling by animator Austin Madison. As a story artist, he worked on several Pixar movies including Wall-E and Buzz Lightyear.

Students first select a setting or have the ability to draw their own. Amazement filled the air as they selected a three-dimensional background for their mystery. They had the choice of being in the City, Space, Atlantis, Explorers, Pirates, in a Spooky Camp, a Spy, or Airpunks. 

After the background is ready to go, you select or create your own characters. You have a wide variety of characters to choose from. Characters can also be created through the 3D drawing feature or you can be one of the characters by taking a photo. Seven characters can be added to each scene. You are then ready to record your first scene. Each character is animated and three-dimensional as you move them around to create your scenes. Students simply tap the start button at the top of the screen and start recording. Characters and props can be moved around as students are narrating. Each scene can be recorded for up to 60 seconds. 

After recording, 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.

Conflict, Challenge, and Climax
For the conflict, challenge, and climax in your story, you pick a setting, characters, and mood just like in the initial setup. Another great feature is the interactive background. Simply tap the background to activate it.

When finished, you add the title and director to your movie creation. When finished you have the option of gong back to edit or simply export to your photo library. There students have a wide variety of options on where to send their movie creations. I had my fourth graders send it to their digital portfolio in SeeSaw. They can also send it to iMovie to further edit and create longer movies, or they can directly send it to YouTube. Sending movies to  Kidblog posts is also an option. 

Short Story
When creating short stories, you create a beginning, middle, and ending to your story. Students again select a setting, characters, and a mood.

Science Report
I am looking forward to using the 'Science Report" with my students. It is set up like the scientific method. 

Students wrote mysteries for one of our writing genres in the curriculum.  They created movies from the mystery they wrote. 

The Case of the Missing Dog - by Lilly

The Mystery of the Leaf - by Ryan

Graphic organizers are important and a great way for students to organize their thoughts and stories prior to video creation.

There are so many possibilities for using Toontastic 3D in the classroom that can tie in with district curriculum and essential objectives. Student can create scenes for vocabulary in any content area. Science and social studies objectives can animated. I would love to hear from other educators as they use Toontastic 3D in the classroom.

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