Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Creator

These past few weeks have been all about Book Creator in the classroom...

Book Creator is a wonderful and student friendly app for creating books with audio.

Last week my students shared their thoughts about Romare Bearden's artwork Home to Ithaca using the See Think Wonder Thinking Routine (we love Project Zero Making Thinking Visible - Thinking Routines). After studying the artwork, we first discussed what we See (a boat, water, trees, a person). Then we tackled what we Think (this might be Odysseus, the shield shapes might be very old, the person might be a man). Finally we shared what this art made us wonder (are any of the buildings a fortress, is the boat coming or going, did this village really exist).

Normally, our students illustrate their own version of the art and through shared writing, we note what everyone has shared.

Last week, we added an extra step.... The students photographed their illustration and we created a See Think Wonder book where everyone had a page with an illustration, their photo, and then an audio recording of their contributions. (a few pages from the book are below)

This week we went further. For the writing task the students each picked a class "job." Yesterday they wrote simple, step by step instructions for the job. Then they picked up an iPad and took two pictures around the room that best demonstrated the job. Today the students each started their iBook instruction manual. With very little demonstration the kindergarteners quickly picked up the basics. The only typing they most did was on the cover page where they added the book title and their name as author. Then they selected photos for the two pages which would help explain their job from start to finish. Some students found they wanted to use a picture that we hadn't taken so they slipped into Draw Free and created what they wanted - then slipped back to their book and inserted the drawing. A couple of kids staged new photos to insert into their book as they found some step needed alternate explanation. (a student example for the Door Holder job is below - including a drawing that illustrates where in the line the Door Holder should stand)

This second student book was created for the Snack Helper job - using photos and three audio recordings that break the job down into three steps.

The highlight was recording the audio. The students quickly realized that the best audio was captured when they spoke loud and clear. (Great practice for articulating thinking, creating complete sentences, and speaking with emotion) Some students recorded their audio all at one time - under one "audio button" and some made many buttons so that they could record their job step by step.

What I'd like to change.... I would like the add a page feature to either ask for confirmation before adding the page or that it be located away from the edge of the page. The kids added many extra blank pages as their finger hit the button while they were trying to resize or move a photo. I also would like the option of selecting an alpha order keyboard in addition to the qwerty.


  1. Hi Denise,

    I really like how you describe so clearly the thinking routine project and then empower your students to be publishers. These are wonderful learning activities that I will share with the teachers at ACDS. Thanks for posting such helpful information.

  2. Hi! I teach Kindergarten and have 4 new iPads this year. My students have been taking photos of their writing workshop pieces and I am wanting to use book creator as a portfolio to display my kids' best writing pieces. Are you able to share these with parents? I really appreciate all the wonderful information on your blog.

  3. Hi, I am the tech coordinator a private girls school in Pa.All our students have blogs - ePortfolios of their progress in their foreign language. So whatever app we use i would like to get the finished product on their blog.

    I have just started to work with Book Creator and love it so much more than Story Kit but I can find a when to get it on the blog. How did you get yours on?

    Thanks for the great work you are sharing.