For the past couple of weeks, newcomers in grades 3, 4 and 5 have been diligently publishing Q&A animal books using Book Creator. As an extension of the English Now! Animals unit, they studied animal names and habitats then drafted Q&A flip books, publishing final versions on Book Creator. Students then shared their video books on our class Seesaw journal.
I used this project to introduce a modified version of the writing process — plan, draft, edit and publish — and to guide students toward production of discourse level* written language. For much of the year, language development has been at the word level for most newcomers — labeling pictures, making lists, copying words or short sentences. After a few lessons in writing patterned sentences, they moved on to organizing those sentences using the structure of a Q&A informational book.
Book Creator is a terrific book publishing app for K-5 kids. Each page of a book is customizable to include typed text, audio recordings, photos and hand-drawn words or images. Students can change fonts, word colors, styles and sizes and easily drag added elements around to personalize page designs. Finished products can be easily shared by exporting them as ePubs (to read in iBooks), PDFs (for printing) or as videos (for web sharing). It can be linked to Seesaw as well for a quick upload to their digital portfolios directly from the app.
There’s one small hitch with the free version (which my students have) — students can only create and save one book at a time. For each new book, they must delete pages and elements of the old one then start anew. Again, it’s not a major hindrance. As a teacher modeling the app for multiple groups, I chose to pay $4.99 for the upgrade which allows me to create mock-up books and save drafts for re-teaching. It’s absolutely worth it. Other than the small limitation of the free version, Book Creator is a highly engaging tool for practicing all language domains. These students loved it.
Check out one student’s book here.