Kindergarten Teacher

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Little Bird Tales – Digital Storytelling

Each year my class does an animal research project as part of our unit on making connections in our world. The connections focus on how the animals are suited to survive in their environment. We spend a lot of time researching animals and looking for these connections. For the culminating activity each child to picks an animal for their research project and creates a book showing what they have learned. We have always used a combination of PowerPoint and Kid Pix in the past but this year I really wanted a better digital storytelling tool. What I found was www.littlebirdtales.com  (They have recently created an iPad app HERE)

Here is an example I made while showing the class how to use the drawing tool. The voice is my 1st grade son :)

Example Here

How the site works - Once you have created a movie you can email the link to the movie, embed it into a website, print the pages as a pdf or purchase the mp4 file for 99 cents. I plan to print it and send to the link to parents. If they want to purchase that will be their option. You do not have to spend any money to create, share or view the movies. Only to download the mp4 file.

To get started…

First you need to set up an account and make sure to check the box that it is a teacher account. You can search for your school on the list or add it if it is not there. I had to add my school and pick the school code. Pretty easy to understand when you register. After you are registered this is the home page

Creating your first tale is as easy as pushing the blue create button. All the tales you create from here will be in your personal account. We will get to how to manage the class accounts later.
Step 1: Create the cover. My class is only using the draw feature. Other options: allowing students to upload images into the page or having the teacher pick out images ahead of time and adding them to the “gallery” option

**After the kids finish their drawing they have to press save twice. Once before closing the window and a second time by pressing the “save and continue” green button on the bottom right of the picture above. You can add audio to the cover page and change the title as you like.

Step 2: Add the pages. Just like before the kids use the draw button to create a page. I am not sure if there is a limit on the number of pages. So far we have used three without any issues. Each time they create a new page it will be added to the right hand side of the page (see above) Adding text and audio for each page is simple.

Now that you are a pro at creating a book it is time to set up your class. Press the home button and look for the orange “manage classes” button (under the blue arrow in the picture below)

First you will need to add a class. When your class is created click on your class name to add students and edit. Here is what my class page looks like.
Click add a student to create your class. For the username I just used their first name and the password I kept very simple. From this page you can manage all the kids tales. The pink arrow shows some settings you might want to consider and the blue arrow shows how many tales they have created.

How do the kids login? What do they see? 

The kids login at the exact same place you do. They put their login and password (red arrows) and the school code (blue arrow)  When a student is logged in they see the exact same home page as the teacher minus the orange “teacher” buttons

*Note- as a teacher you will only use the first two boxes to login. The school code is only needed for the students.

I am excited about this site because after I get the kids comfortable with using it I can send it home the link and information and let them explore and create!

How do you see this being used in your class? I would love ideas and suggestions!

 

3 Responses to Little Bird Tales – Digital Storytelling

  1. mpowers3 says:

    Thanks for sharing this great site Matt! It looks like it will be easy for both students and teachers to use and I love that it’s simple to share stories with parents or other friends/classes around the globe! It would be neat to collaborate with other classes about about animal research or to have your class/kids create a book specific to their classroom/community and share it with a different community somewhere around the world.

  2. Matthew Gomez says:

    Maggie, Thank you for the comment! The potential for collaboration is huge with this site. Those are some great suggestions and I am already discussing trying something like that with another teacher next year.

  3. Jeannie Partin says:

    This is an amazing post! We are getting ready to do our animal research and I can’t wait to use this site and your wonderful ideas!Thanks

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