Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Making a Story

Several weeks ago John Schumacher, librarian and blogger at Watch. Connect. Read, mentioned in a tweet that his students were using an application named My StoryMaker.  This application has been available for several years housed at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh KIDS page.  It is funded by a generous grant from The Grable Foundation.

To begin follow the link referenced above.  Users are asked to click on the button in the center of the book.  When the page opens type in your name and click okay. 

The next page opens asking you to set your goal by first choosing the main character from a series of caricature thumbnails.  Defeat, find, love, make friends, rescue, travel and want are goals that your main character is seeking.  Another character needs to be selected to participate in the storyline.  Then click okay.

The application displays a title which the author can accept or reject.  A glowing arrow at the bottom right corner of the page invites you to continue.  The work space for the first page of the story appears.

Authors can play instructions or start their story.  To begin click which characters, objects, items and settings you want to be on that first page.  Click and drag to move parts of the story around on the page even those which need to move within the story; the dropping of a ball as an example.  To erase click and move the item out of the story to the right.

Characters' feeling, actions and interactions can be altered by clicking on them (character) in the upper left corner and toggling through the options.  To add text to the story click and type below the illustrations.  Or when you pick actions and interactions they are written in the text below. To begin a new page simply click on the arrow just as you did to get to the original page.

Users can move from one page to another by clicking on the images located above in the strip.  To preview your story click the Preview tab; to save and print click the tab labeled End.  Stories, due to space, will only be saved on their server for about a month.  Clicking the clear button will wipe the page clean.  Any time help is needed click on the little animated helper located in the right corner at the bottom.

When you wish to save and print your story you are asked if you wish to share it or not.  When share is selected you are given a "magic" number for accessing your story, the ability to print, preview or start a new story is shown along with that number.  If you do not wish to share your story no number appears; you are done until you begin another story.  It is recommended that story lengths are kept to ten pages or under.

Engaging, fun and learning are a winning combination. Users of My StoryMaker will experience all three plus getting to save and share their work.   

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