Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bursting into Another Project - ZooBurst Style


Sneaking quietly onto the Web 2.0 Tool scene, is a relatively new tool called ZooBurst. Zooburst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books. Essentially authors can manipulate and insert characters, setting, design and background as well as write story lines to accompany their stories. In addition to allowing for a narrative or explanation on each page, creators can also add speech bubbles featuring text OR uploaded .mp3 files for sound. The Pièce de résistance of the site is the augmented reality feature. Once a book is published, the site provides a target. When the target is ‘seen’ by a web camera, the book bursts open allowing for a three dimensional view of the story.

Implemention in my room
In my classroom, I was quite enthusiastic about giving the site a try, but was initially struggling with a way to creatively use the site in a way that was effective and meaningful. The compromise for me was a digital poem. Inspired by my FAVORITE writing site, writingfix.com, I used the following lesson with a few modifications. http://writingfix.com/Picture_Book_Prompts/ManyColoredDays3.htm

Step #1: Read the mentor text: My Many Colored Days, by Dr.
Seuss. This gets the students thinking about the concept of assigning colors to moods. I also point out how one must make an inference on several pages in the book. “On other days I’m other things, on bright blue days I flap my wings.” The feeling or emotion is implied, not directly stated. It’s a good mini-lesson on making inferences.

Step #2: Distribute the Writing Assignment Sheet Go over the assignment expectations

Step #3: Distribute the Pre-writing organizer. This organizer is GREAT! It breaks the poetry writing down into 5 steps:

Here’s a layout of the poetry writing process

Select a color....we used crayon colors: CERULEAN FROST
Select an adjective or character trait: DETERMINED
Select an object as a basis for comparison: HOCKEY PLAYER
Select and action for your object: DIGGING FEROCIOUSLY
Decide where and when the action is taking place: AT A LOOSE PUCK AROUND THE NET

On Cerulean frost days I am determined.
A hockey player digging ferociously
at a loose puck near the net.


Step #4: Create Zooburst books. Place the one stanza per page on the narrative section of the zooburst book. Encourage kids to include .mp3 sound files**, speech bubbles including onomatopoeia or comments that fit the poem. Have them change the background of the book to fit the described color and add details to fit.


Step #5: Share. We’ll have a poetry reading day where the students will be allowed to share their work…in augmented reality mode, of course. This site allows you to ‘embed’ the books into other locations. Chances are that we’ll share via Edmodo but we’ve yet to cross that bridge.

Sample Zooburst

**A word about pricing**
ZooBurst has free accounts for teachers…up to 10 books can be created. Their premium account is $9.99 for a month or $49.99 for a year. The advantage of the premium account is sound integration, ad-free browsing, unlimited books and the ability to create individual student accounts with individualized usernames and passwords. I wrote a grant and had it funded for me.


Here is that grant verbage that I used if you are interested: GRANT


I also sent home a Web 2.0 Tool permission slip at the beginning of the year to ensure that it was okay with parents of children under the age of 12.

Now THAT'S using your Smarticles!!