Teacher Review For Toontastic

Story Elements and Beyond!

Stacie T.
Technology Integrator
Hanover County Public Schools
Ashland, VA
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
Toontastic is a fabulous app for digital storytelling and for "showing what you know." Toontastic opens the door to creativity allowing students to develop a story from scratch or retell a story they've already read. They choose the various scenes for each part of the story (5 parts total), decide the characters, narrate the story as they manipulate the characters and then add music that represents the emotional energy. This app is great at helping students develop reading, writing, listen and speaking skills. Products can easily be exported to the camera roll where they can then be shared with an authentic audience.
My Take
This is one of my go-to apps for teachers. It's so versatile and can be used across content areas and grade levels. One of the best ways to use iPads is to learn, create and share with it and this app does just that. It's very intuitive and easy to use. Although the app starts off with 5 scenes to create, a student can easily delete a few scenes or even add more. K-2 students may benefit from three screens that demonstrate the beginning, middle and end of a story, while the older kids can dive deeper into the more complex parts of a story. While you may automatically think that Toontastic can only be used for fiction stories, there are plenty of characters and scenes that support your science and social studies standards as well. You may have students in your classes who may shy away from asking questions or sharing in a whole group setting. This could be the app where you can see their voice shine as they show off their creativity by narrating a story using different voices. This app requires a shift in pedagogy away from a worksheet driven classroom to one that focuses on higher level thinking and a deeper understanding of the content...true digital aged learning.