Two groups of students from Heritage Park have been writing and illustrating short stories at the CLC over the past few weeks, using 3 different bits of software. They began using Kar2ouche – this software contains a number of titles, from Creative Writing to Egyptians. In each one there are a number of backgrounds, characters and props that pupils drag onto the stage to create scenes. They can add speech/thought bubbles and text boxes to tell the story. Once finished, they can save the story as a movie file, or print it out. This s quite expensive software, but it proved to be very motivating for the students.
The second piece of software was Comic Life, which I have written about previously here. The students sourced photos from the internet, and took extras using digital cameras. They could then add these to their own comic strip and add dialogue. This software is relatively cheap, and can be used for so many different projects.
The final software we used was Photostory, which is free! Students uploaded photos on a particular subject, and added effects, transitions, movement, text and a soundtrack. Finally they published the story to play as a Windows Media file.
All three pieces of software were excellent for engaging the students, regardless of their level. They were easy to use, and the final outcomes were very successful. They are ideal packages for working on literacy skills across all age groups and abilities, and the content can be relevant to their interests.