My Pet Monster books: Grade 2 and 11 work together

Jason SandCase study, Collaboration, Creative Arts, Elementary / Primary, High School / Secondary

Looking for a fantastic example of collaboration between classes, age groups, and different apps?

Jason SandJason Sand is a Multi-Media, Digital Citizenship and Personal Branding Online teacher for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He enjoys helping students build a positive digital footprint as they generate digital media in a variety of forms.

Jason became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2009 and he is currently a member of the Canadian Board for the program. Jason presents regularly at conferences and delivers PD on digital media, digital citizenship, personal branding online, and the effective use of technology in the classroom.

robyn-torryRobyn Torry is a grade 2 teacher for Lloydminster Public School Division in Lloydminster, Alberta. She encourages her students to create, collaborate and share their learning with students from around the world.

Robyn became an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2013. She has presented at regional conferences on innovative ways to use educational technologies.

My Pet Monster

My Pet Monster Book front coverOver the last 4 months, Robyn’s grade 2 class and Jason’s Grade 11 class have co-created a digital book titled, My Pet Monster.

My Pet Monster is an imaginative book about what a pet monster could be like. This collaborative book began in the imagination of a grade 2 class and the images were refined by grade 11 graphic arts students.

Students with their finished book

The process

Robyn TorryMy grade 2 students wrote imaginative descriptive paragraphs about a monster. Then using the Drawing Pad app, they created a matching illustration. The variety of choices that were available to my students in the app allowed them to digitally create how they perceived their own “Pet Monster.”

Greenslime the Pet Monster

Jason SandThe work that Robyn’s students created in Drawing Pad gave my grade 11 students a great visual of what they imagined. When my students recreated their images, the goal was to try and stay true to the childlike quality that the original drawings had and add then raise it to a higher level of illustration for the publication.

My students recreated the illustrations with the app Procreate. Each page also has an accompanying audio recording of the grade 2 student who wrote the description.

Green Slime the Pet Monster, as viewed in iBooks

Once the book was ready to start assembling the classes used Book Creator to assemble their ebook.

Robyn TorryBook Creator has been highly recommended by my colleagues. Being a primary teacher, I started to use Book Creator because it is easy to use. Book Creator is my first choice when getting my students to demonstrate their learning of  research and inquiry projects.

For example, I have had my grade 6 students create science research books on space and the planets. My grade 2 students have and will continue to use Book Creator to showcase their learning of simple animal inquiry projects.

My grade 2 students have also used Book Creator to create citizenship books. The students had to apply their knowledge of how they could implement a simple decision making process when presented with a situation. These books were then exported as a video so they could be showcased throughout my school.

Jason SandI started to use Book Creator after researching many different ways to create ebooks, and Book Creator has proven to be the best app that I have found for that.

I love the simple interface and the quality of the end product, which allows my students to focus on creating content instead of having to focus on teaching the tool to create and publish the ePub.

When working on the My Pet Monster project, it was easy to share the book back and forth using Dropbox and then opening it back up in Book Creator. This allowed the text and audio to be added.

How to share you book with Dropbox

Why collaborate and publish?

Jason SandWhen I look at what my graphic arts students are able to create and publish I design projects every semester that let them learn about illustration, book creation, and publishing.

After publishing several books with my students I wanted to dive deeper into book creation and see how I could further increase the authenticity of the process. The collaboration with Robyn’s class has done just that. When my students received their content it added a level of importance to their work that was not there before. Now someone else was relying on their work.

In this digital world it is important for students to realise what is possible and how they can use technology in a positive way. By creating and publishing a book our students are contributing to their positive digital footprint.

Robyn TorryAs we launch our book we are trying to create a real book launch experience for our students. As a book author the best validation for your work is positive feedback.

With this launch we are looking to have our students receive positive feedback though the iTunes Store so it to lasts as long as their book will. Now that the book is available for free we ask that you download it, give it a 5 star rating, write a review and share it with everyone!

Download My Pet Monster from the iBooks Store

For non-Apple users, you can still download the ePub via - but you will need a suitable ePub reader to view the book.

The exciting news is that within days of launching the book, it was ranked 8th in the iTunes charts for Free Fiction and Literature, and 82nd for all Free categories combined.

My Pet Monster in the iTunes book charts

Future plans

We are currently planning a follow up book to My Pet Monster. This second book will be created by Robyn’s grade 2 students and Jason’s new grade 11 and 12 combined graphic arts class. As we plan our next book we are looking at ways to refine our process to increase student learning while trying to increase quality of the publication.

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