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Audio Storybooks

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Keywords: Storybook, Audio, Writing, Reading Fluency
Subject(s): Technology, Writing, Reading
Grades 3 through 6
School: St Giles School, Oak Park, IL
Planned By: Sue Bailey
Original Author: Sue Bailey, Oak Park
Technology Resources:
Computer with Internet access
http://tikatok.com for creating storybook
http://sumopaint.com or KidPix software for creating original illustrations
scanner (optional)
Screen-capture software (such as Smart Recorder)
Headset (optional)

With individual student accounts having been set up by the teacher in advance, students will log on to http://tikatok.com and type their stories in the pages of their book. Appropriate illustrations (saved from online sources, created at http://sumopaint.com or scanned drawings) can be added to each page. Once the story is complete and has been saved, it will be opened in full screen mode. Smart Recorder (or other screen capture software) should be opened, and an area of the screen selected, big enough to show the open Tikatok book. Students will use the microphone to record the narration of their stories, focusing on reading with expression and fluency. (Using the pause feature of the recording software, several students could work together to record the dialogue of different characters of the story.) The finished recording (movie) can be embedded in a class webpage/wiki for sharing.

In my experience, students are often surprised by the sound of their first recording attempt, and will voluntarily record their stories several times (with improved fluency and expression) until they are satisfied. In addition, through the narration process, students often find and correct their own writing errors.

Background noise is always an issue when trying to record. If possible, try to have students record one at a time, in a quiet area of the room.

The Tikatok website allows teachers to create individual accounts for their students. Stories can then be identified by a username selected by the teacher, avoiding the problem of displaying student names online. Once the stories are complete, families will have the option of purchasing copies in hard or soft-cover book form.

Links: Tikatok Storybook Website
Sumopaint Drawing/Painting
Materials: Microphones, Video Tools, Headsets, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Screen Capture, Clip Art, Integrating Technology, Speech and Language