Students from Mrs. Cross’s ESL class participated in Skype lessons with Geologist and Space Science Educator, Maureen Moore-Roth from Denver, CO. In preparing to read the 4th grade StoryTown title, “So You Want to Be an Inventor,” Mrs. Moore-Roth lead two Skype lessons to build the students’ background knowledge. Over a few days, students were led through a variety of activities and discussions including “What is a Scientist?” and “How do Space Inventions Impact us Today?” Students had the opportunity to interact with several scientists from the Maptek’s Denver office during a question and answer session.
During an independent centers activity, HST second grade students wrote and built their own e-books using My Storymaker. My StoryMaker is an online story creation tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center.
Students practiced effective communication skills as they organized plot structure and key story elements to tell a cohesive story. The web tool’s many different characters, objects, settings, and actions inspired creativity in the young storytellers. Sequencing skills were practiced as students decided what came next in their stories, and then what happened after that.
Students published their stories and were given a number code to re-access their e-books to share with classmates, parents, grandparents, etc. The published e-books remain available online for one month. Stories can also be saved and printed in a .pdf format.
These e-books provide a great first example of digital storytelling by early writers!
Nick Bruel, author/illustrator of the popular Bad Kitty series, visited Harry S Truman Elementary and shared tips with students on how to write and illustrate stories. Third graders used his advice to create their own stories and characters during an extension activity in the classroom. After following the writing process, students practiced their typing skills by publishing their work as a Pages document.
Fifth Graders at HST used 21st Century Skills to create their Leader in Me Book Projects. Students researched and analyzed historical figures’ leadership traits. After compiling and organizing information from a variety of sources, students expressed their opinions on how the leader used the 7 Habits through a Keynote presentation and class discussion. Please enjoy this video of a HST fifth grader explaining this project in detail.