Engaging students in writing can be a challenge. Christine Leeman is here with ideas on how to overcome this.
Originally, I heard about Book Creator in an edtech course I was taking during my educational leave. I then learned more during some webinars and eventually took Holly Clark‘s Book Creator Master Class. Earlier this year, I had just begun playing around with the app when I (luckily) won a full-year subscription for the premium version! 🎉
Student-centered lesson ideas
My students regularly asked to use Book Creator for their writing, both for class assignments and for ideas for personal projects. They created “Top Five” books, scary stories, comic books, create-your-own-adventure books, and more. Students could create books individually or collaboratively, which I really loved.
Additionally, I was able to use Book Creator for student-centered lessons, in the form of HyperDocs which allowed students to work at their own pace and engaged them with multiple forms of media. Many projects, including a digital Grade 5 Memory Book, were easily published and shared with families and friends. 👇
My students were excited about writing, which is what ultimately sold me on this app!
One special needs student shared that he wanted to write with Book Creator as he could tell his stories with pictures, which is how he processes information more easily (he also regularly used the speech-to-text option). This is a student who previously made it VERY clear he did not like writing and would try to find many excuses to avoid it.
The students often requested to use Book Creator and it was not uncommon to have them ask for a few more minutes when it was time to transition to a different task. This was definitely the case in our collaborative Fables book as the students loved to add in emojis, pictures and all kinds of colors and fonts!
Engaging students and parents
Book Creator provides students with enough tools to promote creativity without it being overwhelming. Students enjoyed using the app for classroom tasks, but were especially engaged with personal projects they wanted to do, which then led to them asking me to publish and share a link with the special people in their lives.
Sharing made it possible to communicate with families and give them a glimpse into what the students were learning, which was especially important last year since there was limited access to the school (due to COVID-19).
I was able to have students jump right into using the app with minimal training. I showed them the basics and had them complete a collaborative book. This first task was not an academically intense assignment – they mimicked the style of the book, To Be a Kid, where they shared a personal anecdote. 👇
From there, we completed a series of individual and collaborative tasks with increasing levels of academic expectations and more student-centered focus. For example, students were tasked with writing Limericks so I wrote a Limerick guide book which explained what they are followed by what the students needed to do – apply, share on Flipgrid, reflect then extend.
The students were engaged and eagerly participated. They had opportunities for collaboration and could show their creativity in multiple ways. 👇
Now that I have seen how easily students can use this app, I want to build on what I have done and expand the use of Book Creator to other subject areas. I also want to use it collaboratively with my colleagues to create books that would be helpful to parents and/or new staff (ex. about our school, math help for specific concepts, etc.).
I LOVE Book Creator and the fact that it gives all my students a voice, including the special needs students in my fully inclusive classroom. I am excited to expand my libraries even further and showcase more beautiful books! 📚
Christine Leeman is a K-5 Numeracy Coach in New Brunswick, Canada. She is an outdoors enthusiast, Book Creator Ambassador and is super passionate about edtech, empowering students, and supporting teachers! https://wakelet.com/@Cleeman98