In early childhood, it’s imperative children develop language, literacy and storytelling skills. Children’s early language and literacy skills help children express and explore their identity, culture, and voice. As educators, we must provide ample opportunities for children to explore language, literacy and storytelling with various tools.
There are many technology tools that support children’s exploration and practice language and literacy skills including apps, websites, green screen, kids podcasts, and video cameras, to name a few. Technology can be useful as a reading platform, but what makes technology special is all of the affordances as a tool for creation. With technology, there are more opportunities to learn through brainstorming, sharing ideas, writing stories, publishing books, and directing movies!
Play and Lesson Plans designed by TEC Center professional development participants:
- What makes a good story: Book Creator- A New Version of ‘Snowmen at Night’, Developed byAgnes Lutow, Pre-K 4 educator
- In this play and lesson plan, Ms. Lutow’s class explores digital storytelling with the popular education app, Book Creator. Students’ varying abilities are supported with the chance to tell their story verbally, with audio recording. Especially in the younger years when hand-writing is a new skill, storytelling can be a daunting task. Audio recording can support learning while providing children .
- Forms of Communication: Morse Code, Developed by Cindy Adamson, Second Grade educator
- MyStory Publishing, Developed by Katie Nierzwicki, Second Grade educator
- While introducing digital storytelling, it can be helpful to focus on one aspect of storytelling. For example, Ms. Nierzwicki’s students explored the new digital storytelling app for one part of the writing process, publishing. This practice can allow the students to still focus on their writing, without being overwhelmed by a new tool. There are many popular apps and sites for storytelling. Play with a few digital storytelling apps and sites to see which works best for you and your students!
- Green Screen, Developed by Ashley Zundel, Third Grade educator
- Green screen is another way to practice language and literacy skills in the classroom. Ms. Zundel introduces green screen by using a familiar activity, instructing the students to recreate a classic fairytale with their own adaptations. There are many ways to integrate green screen into your classroom. We suggest a class discuss different roles they can take on (researcher, writer, director, actor, reporter etc.) and responsibilities while introducing this fun learning tool.
As you read these plans note that many of them use photography and video that include images of children. The TEC Center promotes and believes that children have the right to know how and where their images and voices will be used and the right to refuse sharing their images, voices and work online.
Before you take pictures or video of children remember to:
- talk to your school leadership first about your plans
- ask parents/guardians to sign a release form provided by the school or program
- ask each child for permission and tell children how their images will be used
- protect a child’s privacy and digital footprint by putting a shape or positive emoji over a child’s face before sharing it on social media platforms to protect a child’s privacy
- Before sharing images of children with parents and caregivers make sure to review guidelines for protecting their privacy with parents, including reminding parents to
- ask for permission from your child if you can post an image, video or project online and respect your child’s wishes
- share with care and post images of only your child online
- be positive and a good digital citizen by posting only positive comments, photos and videos a child would be proud to show someone later in life-never shame your own child or another child online
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