Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Digital Comic Books with Book Creator: Heroes of Exploration

Let’s face it.  There are pieces of content from time to time that lack the excitement and instant draw for students that other areas may elicit.  For me, our upcoming unit about explorers was making me feel pretty ho-hum. Walk with me as I show you how my sixth graders turned explorers into, “Heroes of Exploration.”

This is a video was created for the ISTE-TEN award process.  It gives a sneak peek into this project.  
The video earned 2nd place!
For this project, students were asked to create a comic book about an explorer using Book Creator. In this project, I wanted students to go beyond basic, boring, regurgitated facts about their chosen explorer to find the STORY behind them.  

Their audience for this project was a collection of elementary classrooms I had rounded up from my band of colleagues.  In the end, students were going to share their comic books via Skype and file sharing with kindergartners and first, fourth, and fifth grade students.  Creating an audience broader than our four walls gave the students a deeper purpose than creating a comic book for me to grade.  It turned an ordinary project into one that made them work harder, think more critically, and produce better products.  
Student Project Details and Resources
The students received the following in the form of an eBook in Book Creator.  
This made it easy to work completely within the app to find all of their 
project information and work.  

Adding comic book features is super simple.
Simply tap on the + sign! Hit "more" for even
more options to customize. 
Book Creator makes comic book creation incredibly easy for students of all ages.  The recent upgrade provides templates, stickers, comic fonts, and more in addition to its already great features. I loved seeing the students using other apps/programs to smash with Book Creator such as Sketchbook, Storyboard That!, ChatterPix, etc to illustrate their storyline.  Since Book Creator is an eBook creator, students do have the option to add video, sound effects, and more!  

The app even includes backgrounds that
add to the comic book's overall effect. 
Comic books are great for all content areas! My daughter's first grade classroom felt inspired by our comic books after our Skype session, and they made comic books about worms!  
These first graders liked our work so much,
they made their own comic books!

Below I have included photos of our Skype sessions as well as video (Book Creator has a great feature that exports the eBooks into video) of a great student sample. This student truly captured the essence of her audience while still maintaining a clear demonstration of content understanding. 


We also shared our work with our
peers from down the hall.
5th graders listening to one of
our readers via Skype.



  1. This is so great! Are selling this project description?

  2. They are not selling this project description, but the creators are aware of the idea. You are welcome to borrow this idea for your own classroom! :)

  3. Any chance you would be willing to share the e-book directions that students got for the project??