Check out a short video clip to see the kids working on their Toontastic cartoons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZynMnlaG4Y&feature=youtu.be
We have been talking a lot about the power of words. The recognition that words are powerful can truly change a classroom climate. This week students have been working on being more respectful to one another and to others in the building. Today we zoomed in even more, and we focused on the power of words in technology. Cyberbullying is becoming a serious problem. Kids all over the country are finding it easier to say mean things to one another through the "safety" of a machine. Students had a great lesson today where they shared their own experiences and began to look closely at online messages that they might, at first glance, think is perfectly acceptable, but when looked at closely, they began to see that words can be interpreted in many different ways.
After this lesson, students were asked to create an animated cartoon showing the power of words. We used this amazing app called Toontastic. Students could choose various backgrounds and characters, then animate the characters and record their own voices saying the dialogue. They created stories of princesses being bullied by soldiers, sharks on the moon who just didn't belong, and even aliens who were bullies. These animations are then finalized and created into "feature films" with background music and credits. Needless to say, we had a lot of laughs while all the while learning how important it is to think before we speak. Check out the video link above. It will give you a taste of what the students were doing.