Using Book Creator for symbol supported books

Chavonne DuckworthBlog, Case study, Elementary / Primary, Special Education

Differentiated learning is a big mission of ours, so we are always delighted to share the variety of ways that Book Creator is used to support all learners.

It’s been almost 4 years since James Williams introduced us to his Enterprise projects at Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn, a special school based in Swansea, Wales. Fast forward to 2021 and James and his wife, Rachel, have developed a new project again using Book Creator with the intention of helping all students to read in a fun, interactive way.

Overcoming reading difficulties

With over 30 years experience in the teaching profession, James and Rachel have seen first-hand the challenges many children faced when it came to reading as well as engaging in a book.

"Often children struggle to engage with reading materials or read for pleasure, despite the range of evidence that shows how beneficial reading is for both academic and emotional well being."Rachel Williams

Passionate about supporting those with learning difficulties, they found that most schools lacked the tools necessary to help these children read meaning that there was a lack of content for symbol supported books. This is where the idea for Primary L.A.B was born.

With their combined knowledge and expertise, James and Rachel have forged a creative collaboration with James being the illustrator behind the books, whilst Rachel is the writer. Each illustration has been brought to life by James with colourful and humorous designs to engage with the younger audience. As for the content, Rachel has put a thoughtful spin on classic storybooks and highlighted 3 key words on each page so that those children who have difficulties in reading longer texts can still absorb the main information.

They have then added symbols to these 3 key words to support visual learners and help children develop their inference and retrieval skills. As well as this, a child can simply tap on the symbol and hear the word read aloud, further supporting their understanding.

The simplicity of Book Creator

As the books were designed for children beginning to read and for learners with special needs/learning difficulties, simplicity was key. Since James and Rachel both use Book Creator with the children they teach, they have witnessed how easy it is to use, and therefore chose it as the platform to create their storybooks on.

“Despite the easy to navigate interface, Book Creator is a sophisticated app that can create books with high quality images, multiple layers of text or illustrations and sound effects, music and narration. When our books are completed it is then easy to share them as electronic books for others to purchase or as a video on our YouTube channel.”Rachel Williams

So far there are already 8 books in the Primary L.A.B Apple Books library and this is just the beginning! James’ and Rachel’s hard work and dedication is truly inspirational and we are thankful they have chosen Book Creator to host their wonderful books. We have no doubt they will make an incredibly positive impact to students and learners across all classrooms.

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