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The Parent & Teacher Guide outlines the Story Arc. Connect the app with things you're already doing in class to teach about effective storytelling. Ask students to tell simple versions of stories they know well. Encourage young kids to work out real conflicts they're having in class.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: Toontastic has been replaced with Toontastic 3D.
Toontastic is a digital storytelling tool that teaches kids how to organize and present story ideas through cartoons. It employs a "Story Arc" that contains five sequential scenes to guide story structure (Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and Resolution). Each scene in the arc drives the story forward, and kids can even change the order of the arc elements. Kids create original cartoon shorts scene by scene in the app's Story Arc. First they choose a setting, characters, and props from templates or their camera roll, or create them with the in-app drawing tool. They animate these items by moving them around the screen while speaking a narrative that's recorded by the iPad's built-in microphone. Last, they add a musical score based on emotions (friendly, happy, surprised, frustrated, sad, or nervous). Each emotion can be scaled up and down for intensity (happy, for instance, can be amped up to joyous and ecstatic).
The animation feature is especially impressive –- it's where kids add motion and narrative to propel their stories forward. Tap the Start Animation button to move characters or props on-screen and to speak a narrative (limit of seven animated characters/props and one recorded narrative per scene). Characters can be scaled and rotated using single and multi-touch gestures.
You'll find a very engaging tool that teaches skills that can be applied to other story arts like writing, moviemaking, songwriting, storyboarding, and more. Students will be able to use their imagination while learning the essential elements of story structure. The interface is visually and aurally based –- kids use their voices, in-app images, and music to tell stories scene by scene along the arc. There's no text tool for scenes, though; in fact, kids can only add text at the very end when titling their creation.
There's a wide range of things students can do in Toontastic. They create original cartoon shorts, scene by scene, using images for settings, characters, and props (the app refers to the latter two as "Toys"). Kids can also import images from a camera roll, create their own images with the in-app drawing tool, or use the drawing tool to modify images. The app's animation feature empowers kids to set their ideas into motion and give action to their story. Kids can record a spoken narrative or dialogue during the animation process -- just note that only the last "take" of a narrative will be heard in the final version.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.