Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Last week, I had my kids act out their favorite scene in a book we just finished.  It took a few days of planning, script writing, and practicing, but in the end their final product was very well done.  I was proud of them.

One of my boys was sick for half the planning phase.  His mom and I agreed to give him an alternate assignment.  I just came across Toontastic in my reading and gave him the option of using it to create a comic.

I loved it!  He drew pictures and included some stock clip art.  The items in his comic could move around a bit, and he recorded his voice to tell the story.  Since he was the first one to do it, he also had the joy of shining for a few moments as his classmates watched him.  I can't wait to get other kids involved in Toontastic!

The app is free, but some features of it are not.  For instance, his stock clip art cost money.  I think Mom said it was a dollar for three characters.  You can draw your own background or buy one if you're so inclined.  The money is a bit of a drawback to me.  So far, I like to play with free (and completely free) apps.  I won't even download a full version of Angry Birds!

Another feature I liked was the plot hill.  When you create your own cartoon, you are automatically put into a plot hill to help with your planning. Of course, if a kid doesn't understand plot hills, it means nothing.  Since today's reading lesson is about plot, this fits perfectly with what I do in class.

The app comes with an option to post your comic to the rest of the Toontastic community, but -- and I love this -- you need Mom and Dad's permission to do this.

In the end, based on this one experience, I suggest putting Toontastic to work in your classroom.

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