Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.-Robert McKee
Children love to listen to stories. They are also pretty adept at retelling them. Often, the re-telling is far more interesting than the original.
One of our Common Core standards in kindergarten is that the child will retell a familiar story, including key details. This week in our shared reading, we read Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin. There are many lessons to be learned from Pete and the children have enjoyed reading and re-reading this story. They’ve loved singing his song along with him. We made the Lessons From Pete anchor chart yesterday.
Today, the children decided to make a book about Pete the Cat and his new white shoes as a retelling. They used a planning grid to map out their stories. In Book Creator, they designed the cover and wrote their re-telling. They illustrated their book by drawing in Doodle Buddy. Once they finished their entire book, they went back and recorded themselves reading the story (and singing Pete’s song.) Here is a link to Eva’s Pete the Cat retelling. I love her use of expression as she reads.
This activity was initiated by the kids and planned out by them. They spent most of the day, off and on working on this project. They were delighted with the fact that they came up with “the lesson” and were in charge of carrying it out. The Pic Collage above shows them in their creative process. They were spread out and deep in thought. From the collaborative work and rich conversations during their time working on the planning sheets, to the creation of their book and recording their own voice to retell the story, it was an amazing activity and not a bad way to end our week with Pete.
I could have had the children sit and retell me a story easily enough. But it was so much more meaningful by having them do this in their own way. Voice and Choice…the school work of champions…and as Pete says, “It’s all good.”
Today, we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!
16 thoughts on “In Their Own Words with Book Creator”
Thank you for sharing that! It is amazing what kids will come up when we give them choices. We just purchased “book creator” at our school and now I have an activity to share with teachers.
You will love Book Creator. My kids are also adding video to their books. It is a very versatile app for all grade levels.
Kristi, I couldn’t get the file to open to hear Eva’s retelling… any suggestions? I love Pete the Cat… just ordered his newest couple of books coming out soon!
Sherrell you have to open it with an ePub reader like iBooks.
Amazing! I love your ideas and student work samples!!!
Thanks Tracy. It’s so amazing all that they can do.
Thank you for always posting such thought-provoking ideas! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and have even shared it with colleagues.
I’ve also been using Book Creator with students and love the app’s versatility. I was wondering how you shared a student’s ePub book via a link to Box. I would love to have the capability to share student work this way!! Alas, I am still trying to figure out how to accomplish the task you make look so simple. 🙂 Would you please explain how you do this?
Thank you for your comment. There are a couple of ways to upload to Box. The first is open Box and on the lower left side of the screen, there is a cloud icon. Click the cloud and then choose whatever you want to upload from that menu. It will mostly be items in your photo roll. Book Creator does not save to your photo roll so in the Book Creator app, I go to the opening screen and under the book I want to upload, I select the upload icon and choose Box in the list. Once the item is uploaded into the appropriate folder, I can go to the item and click share. This allows me to email. Parents have to have an ePub reader to be able to read the book.
This is wonderful news!!! I’ll see if Box is open/unblocked during school hours in our district… If not, then I’ll work on this after school or at home. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me! My hope is that many parents will be able to view and save their children’s masterpieces to their own devices. I’m so excited! 🙂
Just downloaded Book Creator & excited to share with my peeps at my school in Lexington, SC. Visited your class yesterday and was AMAZED at what your kids were doing…creating, engaged, talking about their learning, eager to share what they were doing, WRITING stories in Kinder in March w/ correct spelling, capitalization & punctuation. Simply awesome! Thanks for the warm welcome and sharing our expertise.
TIS-Red Bank Elementary
Yay! So glad you got the app. You will love it! Glad you were able to visit. We loved having you.
One question…Once you share the book you create can it be changed? Essentially, can it be used as a collaborative project?
Once the book has been created and saved to the iBooks app, it still exists in it’s working form in the Book Creator app and can be modified in Book Creator.
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I reached out to you around this time last year via Facebook about how much I loved your work. Back then, I was just a student teacher with access to a class set of iPads. Today, I am a first grade teacher and recognized as the new teacher who is tech savvy and always teaching with iPads by my staff. Thank you again of your advice a year ago.
I am also trying to open the example of Eva’s retelling to share it with my staff for my presentation on Book Creator. I tried right clicking it and downloading it to open in iBooks, but it says the requested URL is not found. Please reach out if you are able to send it so I can share about the greatness of this app!
Meagan, please give me your email and I will send it to you via Google Drive.