Toontastic Makes Storytelling Fun!
as many second-language acquisitions
teachers know, having students produce
creative writing pieces in english is like pul-
ling teeth. i needed to find a way to assess
my students’ english language learning
by providing them a fun and creative avenue to display
their knowledge. Toontastic by launchpad Toys allows my
diverse students to create cartoons and then record their
stories. little do they know, they are actually telling stories
in english and having a great time doing it.
even my most introverted and struggling students are eager
to discuss the stories they have created. Because they
aren’t confronted by classmates staring at them—as they
might be if they were merely standing in front of the class
and reciting a story they had written—they actually produce
beautiful and thought-provoking stories that i never knew
they had in them. This assignment meets higher levels of
Bloom’s taxonomy. it is a win–win for us all. The kids have
fun, and i get to witness their genius at work. Toontastic is
simply an interactive reader’s theater that kids narrate and
direct while the teacher sits back and enjoys the show!
Juan Carlos Venegas has been an elementary gifted and talented bilingual and dual-language teacher in Houston, Texas, USA, since 2003. He finds any excuse to incorporate tablet echnology into his lessons. Venegas is a father of three tech-savvy children and is currently working on a master’s degree in instructional technology.
Here are a few more apps our members recommend for second-language acquisition:
ABC Pocket Phonics: Helps students learn the letter sounds. iOS/Android; $2.99 Google Search App: Students speak search terms instead of typing. iOS, Android; free
Book Creator: Students drag and drop pictures, text, and voice to create digital and print books. iOS; $4.99
Common Core: Offers a convenient way to view the Common Core State Standards. iOS, Android; free
MyON: Offers more than 3,000 digital books, including more than 100 in Spanish. iOS; free
Puppet Pals: Students create their own set and characters and narrate stories. iOS, Android; free
Dragon Dictation: Students record themselves and see their words in written form. iOS, Android; $1.99
Shake-a-Phrase: Students read silly sentences, get a story starter, or play a parts-of-speech game. iOS; $1.99
English Idioms Illustrated: Students learn the meaning of English idioms and where they come from. iOS, Android; free
Strip Designer: Students create a comic strip and practice summarizing. iOS; $2.99
Explain Everything: Helps students learn their letter sounds. iOS; $2.99
Videolicious: Students use graphics, images, and voice to describe what they have learned. iOS, Android; free
Got an app for that? email a description of your favorite app to firstname.lastname@example.org.