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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Making e-books with elementary students

Making e-books with elementary students

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Hi everyone, One of my instructional goals for this year is to have my 5th grade students make e-books that reinforce elementary science concepts. Have you done this? What program did you use to create the e-books? What worked really well and what would you do differently? Terri Elementary Librarian

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Kate Hartig's picture

I found a place to publish and give students the feel of pages turning. It is called Issuu - http://issuu.com/ You need to complete the work and then upload it. Then put the link somewhere for easy access. It is a bit tricky but you can remove your book and upload corrected edition, if you want. It was free. You appear to be able to control who accesses it. I wouldn't use any last names; get parents' permission to use photos.

deb speese's picture
deb speese
Challenge Center Teacher - Gwynedd Mercy Academy

We created E-books in collaboration with IBM's Reading Companion Program. After creating the books, IBM published them online in a library used by students and adults all over the world. Here's a link to get you started http://www.readingcompanion.org/ReadingCompanion/index.jsp

Good Luck,
Deb Speese
St. Alphonsus School
Maple Glen, PA

Terri Britt's picture

Thanks to all who posted. I think making e-books with students is an exciting opportunity. I will look into all the options presented here and research more this summer in hopes of being ready to create e-books in the fall. Elvira, we can compare notes next year as we work our way through this process for the first time. I'm sure our students will love it. It is a step up from our school-wide Young Authors' program in which students use Microsoft Word to type and print their books. Who knows, maybe the city-wide competition will have to add a new category for e-books in a year or two.

Elvira Deyamport, Ed.S.'s picture
Elvira Deyamport, Ed.S.
2nd-6th Gifted/Talented Teacher

Thanks everyone for posting all these wonderful resources for creating e-books. Terri, we can definitely compare notes once we try these out. I can see your students enjoying these, especially for the Young Authors Competition. I think creating e-books is a wonderful way for students to publish and share their learning with others. Can you tell me more about your city wide competition? It sounds like an exciting opportunity.

LAAccessibility's picture

http://bookbuilder.cast.org/ Have you seen Book Builder? I like it because it provides coaches that can be used in many ways: define vocabulary, prompt for main ideas, insert extended reading or online information, provide ELL translations, offer a different character's point of view, on and on. You can create your own library and control how you would like to share. The range is unlimited depending on how you approach it. Plus, it's universally designed so that support is built in for using text-to-speech and other accommodations.

LibrarianFran's picture
School Librarian in the Great Garden State

My 6, 7, & 8 graders created great e-books based on the Toon Books found on ProfessorGarfield.com (a free AASL Best Website 2010). They made them using the free MIT Scratch program. It taught basic computer programming and logic concepts and was a *lot* of fun. They even did audio voice-overs to make their e-books into audio books, too. You can see a story starter example here: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/phran/1365801 If you click on the text, it will be read to you. The arrows advance the page.

LibrarianFran at gmail.org
Middle School Librarian and Technology Teacher

B. E.'s picture
B. E.
Elementary school teacher from CA

I teach third grade, and have just begun to use a very engaging, fun website called Storybird (storybird.com). It is a free site (up to 30 students) that is both student and teacher-friendly. There is also a "professional upgrade" available that allows tracking, grading, etc., although, so far, the free version appears to have the kind of controls I will need to make this work.

The site is based on a multitude of themes and art, within a page-turning short-story format. Students choose the art and / or theme that appeals to them, and then type in their story, including cover page, clicking and dragging in the appropriate artwork they need for each page. When done, and approved (online) by the teacher, the book is published to the class Storybird website, which parents and students can then access (with user name and password). These books include the page-turning feature other posts have asked about.

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