This week we transform our classroom into Glacier Park Publishing House as students plan, design, write, illustrate and publish an original eBook for the Apple iBook store. This is our fifth year publishing and this year we will build our library of student works beyond 50 books. All books are free and can be found on the iBook store by searching for Hallett Cove South.
In the lead-up to this years eBook week, we have been building our toolkit of skills and last week we asked students to reflect on what we had to work with.
Collaborated to find out what tools we have in our writers toolbox. How can we use these skills to engage our eBook audiences? pic.twitter.com/CbrDTP7erc
— Abe Moore (@Arbay38) September 13, 2017
The class then came together to share and categorise ideas. Later in the week a smaller working group picked what they thought were the 8-10 most important ideas so we could create success criteria for the project.
The build-up to this project has been year long. This is a major performance task that students have been mindful of while practising their writing and grammar skills during the year. Each year we look at the rule of thirds and the deliberate use of camera angles to engage audiences. On of my favourite examples is the IKEA lamp advertisement from a few years back.
I think it is a great example of personification and mood with a twist at the end. It always stimulates great discussion amongst students. From this, we attempt to create our own moral storyboards using the different camera angles we have identified by using as little direct or indirect text as possible. This may seem like a fairly easy task, but is always a real challenge for students requiring many drafts and revisions to create a fluent story. Here are a couple of examples from this Ryan & Jacob:
This coming week is a fun, frustrating, complex and challenging week for us all. I will conference over 100 times with students about the progress of their books. Some students will get off to a flying start in the first few days, others will struggle to produce anything significant before mid-week. It is impossible to tell which book will end up being the peoples choice as past popular choice winners have come from both ends of the spectrum. What really matters this week is that students draw on their experience and creativity to create something that they are proud of. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve!
Students use Sketchbook on iPads to create storyboards and illustrations. Some students prefer good old paper and pencil to sketch out their designs and then digitise their work. Our authors pondered whether it was better to write or create and illustrate characters first. We had a variety of both of these approaches. Students rarely submit complete scenes for publishing, but instead build the elements and characters and then manipulate within an app like Pages or iBook Author.
We also experimented with using Chromebook laptops and shared documents in our Google Classroom account to provide more timely feedback.
— Abe Moore (@Arbay38) October 6, 2017
We hope to publish about 10 new books in total followed by a readers choice competition involving students, staff and parents at our school to acknowledge the most popular book in junior and middle primary categories.