Toontastic and Puppet Pals: Digital Story(re)telling Made Easy

Any of you who have attended my trainings know I love using technology in the classroom, but I love using it for a purpose beyond just playing games.

As part of the reading process, we often ask students to summarize what they have read, pulling out the most important details. But with technology, we can have them animate the retelling. So instead of just writing or answering questions, when I had my students do this, they engaged in teamwork, speaking, listening, storyboarding, and critical thinking. That means if you’re familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy, this falls squarely in the “Create” level. Or if you’re familiar with SAMR (more on this in a later post), then this fits in the “Redefinition” category. If you want to see more, I love this Padagogy wheel that shows the intersection of these two theories.

This video is an example of how my class used Toontastic to retell the story of Sally Ride. I had them split into groups and each person in the group was responsible for a slide/sentence. Even though this was a low-beginning ESL class, they were able to use this app very easily. All they have to do is choose the character and scenery and move things about with their fingers. This version of Toontastic no longer exists, but you can use Toontastic 3D or Puppet Pals (only iOS) to do the same thing. Hope this helps!