Showing posts with label short Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short Stories. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Create 100 Frame Animations on ABCya Animate

ABCya Animate is a fun new tool from ABCya (disclosure, an advertiser here). ABCya Animate allows students to create animated GIFs containing up to 100 frames. On ABCya Animate students build their animation creations by drawing, typing, and inserting images. Students can change the background of each frame, include new pictures in each frame, and change the text in each frame of their animations.

The feature that I like best about ABCya Animate is that students can see the previous frames of their animations while working on a current frame. This helps students know where to position items in each frame in order to make their animations as smooth as possible. Students do not need to register on ABCya Animate in order to use the tool or to save their animations. When students click "save" on ABCya Animate their creations are downloaded as GIFs.

Applications for Education
ABCya Animate could be a great tool for elementary school and middle school students to use to create animations to use to tell a short story. For example, the animation that I started in the picture above could be the beginning of a short story about flying to visit grandparents. To complete the story I would add some drawings to represent my family and perhaps some text for clarification. Your students might also use short animations as part of larger multimedia project.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Collaboratively Create Multimedia Books on Widbook

This month Widbook became a financial supporter of Free Technology for Teachers. I've written about the service before, but as a service to them and to readers who haven't seen it before like to highlight some of Widbook's features again.

Widbook is a platform designed to help people collaboratively create multimedia books. The service is part multimedia book authoring tool and part social network. Mashable called it "the YouTube of books." On Widbook you can create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. Widbook is collaborative because you can invite others to make contributions to your books. To use Widbook you have to create a profile on the service. The books that you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. Likewise, you can search for others' books and make contributions to their books.

Widbook - Write, read and share! from Widbook on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Widbook could be used by a class of students to collaborate on a creative writing project in a kind of "fan fiction" style. You could also use Widbook to create multimedia reference books for your students. Or have your students create their own multimedia reference books. Another possible use for Widbook is to have students create digital portfolios of their best multimedia works.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Craft a Short Audio Story on The Art of Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling is a website hosted by the Delaware Museum of Art. On the site students can learn about works of art. The better part of the site are the tools for creating short audio stories by using elements of artwork, text, and voice. In Tell a Story students select a work of art, write a short story about it, then record their own narration of the story. In Picture a Story students select a scene, choose characters, add props, write their stories, then record narration for their stories. Both tools have drag and drop editors that make it easy for students to rearrange and alter the size of elements in their stories.

Applications for Education
Tell a Story and Picture a Story could be used as part of a creative writing lesson. Art teachers could have students use Tell a Story to record and share their analysis of artwork.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Picture Book Maker - Create Children's Stories

Earlier today I wrote about Stop Frame Animator from Culture Street. After playing with the Stop Frame Animator I tried out another of Culture Street's tools, the Picture Book Maker. The Picture Book Maker allows students to create six page stories by dragging background scenes into a page, dragging in animals and props, and typing text. All of the elements can be sized an positioned to fit the pages. Text is limited to roughly two lines per page. Completed stories are displayed with simple page turning effects. Stories created on Picture Book Maker can be printed.

Applications for Education
Picture Book Maker could be good tool for elementary school students to use to create short stories that they can print or email to share with their parents. If you have students who struggle to start a creative story, have them pick an animal from the menu and write a story about that animal. The story that I created was about a penguin lost in a forest (I think my mom is going to love it when the printed story arrives in the mail).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Video - The Tell Tale Heart

This post is for my colleague Pam who is teaching a lesson about The Tell Tale Heart this week.

Applications for Education
Anyone that teaches short stories as part of their curriculum should be aware of the plethora of videos about those stories available on sites like YouTube and Teacher Tube.

On a related note, if YouTube is blocked at your school you may want to try one of these 47 Alternatives to YouTube.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thumb Scribes - Collaborative Poems and Stories

Thumb Scribes is a new platform for collaboratively creating poems and short stories. Thumb Scribes can be used in two ways. First, you can contribute to story or poem that someone else has started and placed in the public gallery. Second, you can start your own story or poem and either place it in the public gallery or invite others to collaborate with you. If you put your poem or story in the public gallery anyone can add to it. If you don't want the whole world adding to your poem or story you can mark it as "private" and invite individuals to add to it.

Applications for Education
Thumb Scribes could be a good platform through which students (over 13) can develop poems and stories together. If they're having trouble getting started, they can look at the public gallery for ideas and inspiration.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
3 Registration-Free Tools for Collaborative Writing
ExploraTree - Thinking Guide Templates
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom

I Tweeted about this list early today, but I thought I should post a link to it as well for those people who don't follow me on Twitter or missed it earlier. Online has compiled a list of fifty ways that Twitter can be used in the college classroom. Some of the ideas in the list can also be applied to the high school or middle school classroom. Two such ideas are taking a poll of the class and creating Twittories. Twittories are stories composed by a group of people using Twitter. Read all 50 ideas in the list here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Short Story Competition from Daily Writing Tips

Daily Writing Tips is one of the many blogs to which I subscribe. Today they announced a short story writing competition. It appears that the contest is open to anyone over the age of 13. All short stories must be less than 1,000 words. All entries must be in January 4th. Nominated pieces will be posted on Daily Writing Tips and readers will vote. The winner of the competition receives a full license to the executive edition of White Smoke writing and editing software ($310 value). To read the full contest rules and requirements visit Daily Writing Tips.

Applications for Education
This writing contest could provide a sizable real world audience for a high school student or possibly a middle school student. Yes, there are many writing contest specifically for students, but what I like about this contest is that if a student's work was nominated he or she will instantly reach the more than 6500 subscribers to Daily Writing Tips.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Tell Tale Heart Narrated by James Mason

Yesterday, I shared two videos based on the short story The Most Dangerous Game. Today, I found a good video based on Edgar Allen Poe's work The Tell Tale Heart.

Applications for Education
Anyone that teaches short story literature as a part of their curriculum should be aware of the plethora of videos about those stories available on sites like YouTube and Teacher Tube.

On a related note, if YouTube is blocked at your school you may want to try one of these methods for using online video in your classroom.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Most Dangerous Game in Video

The Most Dangerous Game written by Richard Connell is a popular short story taught in schools around the country. In fact, as I was supervising the lunch room today, I saw a student reading it for a literature class. Seeing that student reading the story is what gave me the impetus to look for videos of story. Below are two videos based on The Most Dangerous Game that I thought were fairly well done.

Applications for Education
After reading The Most Dangerous Game students can watch one of the videos and write a comparison between the video depiction and the original story. Students can also analyze why the film makers chose things to include or omit in their videos.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Short Audio Essays as Writing Prompts

NPR's "This I Believe" segments and WGBH's "Morning Stories" are short, thoughtful, and thought provoking essays covering a wide range of topics. These essays are broadcast over the air at various times (check your local station listings) and are also available as podcasts directly from the NPR and WGBH websites and from iTunes. One "This I Believe" story that grabbed my attention as I was driving to work last week was the story of an attorney given the unenviable task of awarding compensation to the families of 9/11 victims. Listen to the full story, "What Is the Value of a Human Life?" by clicking here.

Applications for Education
Both of these programs are available as podcasts for use in the classroom. The topics of the essays vary greatly so there is bound to be something that every humanities teacher can use as a conversation starter or a writing prompt. Both programs have written transcripts of the audio recordings available on their websites. The transcripts are a good for students to have to refer back to during classroom discussion or as they write responses to the essays.