My first graders have been busy as they developed ideas in the engineering design process!
They would open Book Creator app, draw their design then build it out Jumbo K’Nex! I captured a lot of pictures to share and am so proud of their creations along with the text that they wrote to accompany their picture. They also changed size of text in their sentences, changed font and color of text! Their favorite part was recording their voice reading aloud their sentence into Book Creator and sharing their recording with others.
The Book Creator app allows children to begin to fluidly create with tools at their fingertips. For example, when you open a New Book and choose the Landscape option, then you can press the “+” symbol to see the Pen tool which allows you to draw in many colors, the Add Text tool, the Camera tool, the Photo tool and the Record Voice tool. I love that kids can select many types of fonts, colors and sizes of text.
Today, a child was asking me how to spell “built”. I said the letters b, u and i then the word populated above the text. Book Creator tries to help kids to spell the words correctly by predicting the text that they are typing. I love that kids can create then use language to describe their drawings and engineering design products! My favorite description in one of the pictures using Jumbo K’Nex is translated as follows: We built a tank that is undefeatable.” The kids absolutely love recording their voice and hearing it played back. Recording brings the process to a close as they wrap up their creation in the Engineering Design Process and are ready to share with others.
Another exciting piece of this project was in the collaboration that occurred. Having six year olds collaborate is possible but not always easy. They had to draw what they wanted to create then share the drawing with a partner or partners. Then, they had to compromise and decide on the one creation that they would make using the Jumbo K’Nex blocks.
I was glad that I started using Book Creator without having them collaborate at first a few weeks ago. Back then, I read aloud “What Do You Do With An Idea?” then they created a drawing of an object that they could create to help the world. I have given them opportunities to also draw a tower that would hold mini apples from the craft store then create it with Unifix Cubes and mini apples, take a picture of their tower holding the apples and then type text about how many cubes they used in the building of their tower and how many apples it would hold. They also got to use the Record Voice tool to read their sentence aloud about their apple towers. I think it is important to facilitate proper use of the tools in Book Creator so that students can do increasingly more difficult challenges and begin to compromise as they collaborate with others to build designs.