Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Toontastic Fables by Peggy Rux, Pasteur Elementary

My third graders love stories! They love listening to stories, reading stories, writing stories and acting out stories. Toontastic is a wonderful storytelling tool that allows students stories to come to life.

The unit is titled Toontastic Fables. After spending several lessons listening to and discussing the genre of fables, students are asked to pick a favorite fable and put their own spin on it. We chose fables from the website I liked using this site because it provided a very brief version of some classic fables and included the moral at the end of each one. This allowed the students to be creative with the story. They were allowed to change characters, settings and even add some dialogue. The only rule was that the moral or lesson must remain the same. Once they had their fable they were ready to storyboard. Students were reminded that a storyboard is a written plan of how they want their publication to look.

With their storyboard in hand they are ready to create. Thats one of the best features about this app, it allows children the ability to create. They can draw their own scenes and characters, which I prefer them to do. A few scenes and characters come with the free version and for a small fee additional scenes and characters can be added. I however, prefer letting students create their own scenes and characters and so do they! Another great feature of this App is that it follows the story arc and explains each element of plot; the set-up, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution. The app also allows for music to be added to the scenes, which helps set the tone of their story.

All this hard work culminates in a film festival where students are given the opportunity to share their work. You can see the pride in their faces as we watch their cartoons. Of all the Apps that I have incorporated into my lessons, this is by far my favorite. I would recommend this app to anyone who woks with students in the primary grades.

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