This year Mrs. Demas and I have enjoyed bringing various writing activities into the classroom that promote writing for a variety of audiences. Recently, the students finished up another authentic writing project that gave a new audience a chance to view and enjoy their published work.
The 4th grade students created eBooks using Book Creator for the GES and BES preschool students. To begin this activity the fourth graders had to spend some time investigating other children’s books. As a class we discussed different aspects of illustrations, text patterns, and the amount of text on a page. We also took a closer look at how children’s authors use vivid language and sensory words in their writing. Students had the opportunity to work together in groups to study children’s books.
The fourth graders had a choice to write a fiction or nonfiction book. They could pick any topic to write about, and were provided with a list of preschool interests – which were supplied by the preschool teachers.
Each week Mrs. Demas and myself were more and more amazed by the progress students made on their books. The quality of their writing was phenomenal, and their illustrations blew us away. Students could create their illustrations by using software on the iPad, or they could use paper and drawing tools. Some students chose to combine both art forms. There were even some students that used 3D models as the characters in their books. One student, for example, created her main character out of clay (it was a dinosaur!).
Book Creator (the app we used) allowed students to add text, independently create illustrations, and add audio files to their stories. Students were required to capture all text in an audio clip, thus turning all stories into audiobooks. Book Creator also allowed the students to easily share their work with Google Drive for easy transfer to our lesson website and to the preschool iPads.
Perhaps the most fun element of this project was the day the fourth graders walked over to the GES preschool to share their stories. The students shared stories that warmed our hearts, taught social lessons, and that taught facts to the preschool students. Our fourth graders at GES were admirably caring and patient as they taught the preschool students how to open the books, activate the audio clips, and turn the pages. Now the preschool students have over thirty new eBooks on their iPads to enjoy for the rest of the school year!
We commend the fourth grade students for their focus and enthusiasm throughout this project!
Check out our books on this link! You will need to download the files on a device with eReader software (iPad and iPhone will work). We have also posted the materials we used to implement and assess this project.
Watch as a fourth grader teaches a preschool student to use the audio buttons and to turn the pages.