Monday, April 24, 2017

Grade 11 Students Create Amazing Graphic Novels with iPads, Book Creator & Notability

View full graphic novel on The Russian Revolution
I’m often amazed at the talent of our students. Their artistic ability is no exception. Our students' creativity is evident in the artwork I see in the hallways, showcases and classrooms throughout our schools. Earlier this year, eleventh grade general English students at Minnetonka High School read Persepolis, a graphic novel autobiography by Marjane Satrapi about growing up during the Islamic revolution in the 1980s. After reading it, the students were given two choices to create their own graphic novel with a collaborative group. The results are awesome!
View full graphic novel on the Weimar Republic
For this project, students worked in collaborative groups and each group member was responsible for two pages individually or the group members chose to work on their pages together. You can see the full assignment description for this task here. Students used a storyboard for planning their projects and each individual completed a self-reflection afterwards. The project was designed by English teachers David Adams, Jordan Cushing, Mary Hedstrom and Judy Thomas as part of their PLC (Professional Learning Community). Students were given two options from which to choose for the topic of their graphic novel. Students could either:
Create a graphic novel based on a revolution that took place outside of the United States before 1970. Students had to pick a revolution, research it, and tell the story of an important event during the revolution in their graphic novel. (Three examples are pictured and linked in this post.)
Create a graphic novel that explores the connections between the challenges faced by a girl living in the United States and a girl living in Iran after 2010. Students researched women’s issues in Iran and America after 2010 and had to tell the story of both girls, comparing and contrasting their experiences in their graphic novel.
View full graphic novel on the French Revolution
One of the teachers, David Adams, told me he was very impressed by the work students did. He explained that students really enjoyed being able to be creative with the project. They used a variety of apps for illustrations. Many used Notability to make the pictures and then drop them into Book Creator. David explained that students felt that Book Creator was very useful for setting up the frames, pages, captions, and speech bubbles, but it didn’t have very many drawing tools. So many of them set up all of the frames in Book Creator first and then went to Notability to illustrate their pictures. This app smash project is a great example of many dimensions on the Minnetonka Framework for Teaching and Learning: collaboration, communication, use of technology, authentic and real world learning, creativity and more. It's also a great example of using iPads and the apps on them to showcase learning in meaningful, deeper ways.
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