Storytelling can be a great way to empower a student’s voice and clarify students’ understanding of different topics, even in math class. Wait, do you mean story problems? Nope - storytelling in Math Class. I was able to work recently with Solon Middle School Math Teacher, Nancy Trow, and Instructional Coach, Julie Smith, on an idea that Mrs.
Trow created for her students by having them create children’s books over middle school math concepts.
One of the driving forces of the success of this project was student choice. Students were allowed to choose what story they wanted to tell and how they were going to tell it. Students had the options of creating a hand-drawn children’s book or an electronic book.
For students who chose to create an electronic book, they had even more choices to make: Did they want to start with a blank slate? Or did they want to allow artwork to guide their story?
For those that chose to start with a blank slate, they created their books using Google Slides. Google Slides may get stuck with the wrap of being PowerPoint for Google, but it can do so much more. Under File -> Page Setup, you can choose a custom size to be able to print the book on normal paper.
Using Google Slides, it gives students a blank template to incorporate copyright-free pictures of their own choice, create layers with the pictures, and upload photos of their own to assist in telling their story.
For students, who let artwork guide their story, they used a website called Storybird.
Storybird houses collections created by different artists. A student chooses a collection to work with and organizes the photos and adds in text to help their story come alive.
Just check out a few examples of the students’ creations.
The student's creativity flourished connecting Unicorn horns to triangle angles using Google Slides.
Getting inspired by art to help tell their stories with Storybird.
And creating their own original designs with some assistance from Comic Life.
-Contribution from Amber Bridge, Technology Consultant from Grant Wood AEA. Want to share what's going on in your classroom or collaborate me on an upcoming project? Feel free to email me