Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Cartooning Around in Language Arts by Malia Triggs #msmeca11

These are my notes from Malia Triggs presentation “Cartooning Around in Language Arts” at the 2011 Mississippi Educational Computing Association annual conference in Jackson on February 8th. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Many of the links to projects and resources Malia discussed in this GREAT preso are available on her Ning page and Ning blog of her district Ning site. (I AUDIO RECORDED THIS SESSION AND GOT MALIA’S PERMISSION TO SHARE IT LATER AS A PODCAST.) Malia is a 5th and 6th grade teacher is Forrest County School District.

Planning and organization for these projects is very important
– I provide students with a rubric in advance

Everyone does not get to make a cartoon if they are not putting in the work in the classroom

Example project by a student about the Nitrogen Cycle, who was not very motivated by “traditional” school
– I don’t show my kids everything about this program
– I let them and want them to explore

I let students login on my account, and I monitor theme
– you can create one of these in about 10 minutes if you have a storyboard

I tell my kids, “Your completed storyboard is your ticket to GoAnimate.”

Kids had to think about setting, character, plot, author’s purpose
– how many objectives have we just marked off our standards framework?
– we tend to think skill by skill when we look at our textbook, we can’t cover all these requirements one by one by May 9th

This is awesome
– we get to “play” in reading class
– also we take it to the next level
– my students don’t just have to know about it, they have to THINK about it

All these things we are required to teach can be done with cartoons
– this is cross-curriculuar
– gives us opportunities for all kinds of conversations about reading and writing, story elements

You don’t need any pictures to use

Have you read the book “Holes?”
– my example: Camp Green Lake
– making a persuasive ad for Camp Green Lake

After the test is over, what do we do for 4.5 weeks? We fluff it
– at the end

Did you know there are something like 8000 Cinderella story versions?
– students all took a different version and read it, and then they had to develop their own Cinderella story
– my kids blew my mind: I had 10 minute video versions
– kids figured out how to add audio, import pictures
– on their own time, kids
– I covered 14 objectives in two weeks on my standards framework when we did this “Linderella” project Linderella by demongirl1012

Like it? Create your own at It’s free and fun! linderella by BrandyLexus

Like it? Create your own at It’s free and fun!

We engage the unengageable
– I am TST coordinator in my school

my handout also has my rubric for my storyboard on my handout
– did you know other people have made all these things for us?

Google for “free storyboard outline”
– it is there! Take a little time to find it

It takes less time and energy from you to let students do this (with GoAnimate) than it does for you to beat your head against the board

Technology is our friend
– it will save you so much time

In terms of rules
– think about your student handbook: you know our rules
– I direct students to the “GoAninimate Originals” characters

Our 3 rules
– be responsible, be respectful, be safe

It’s better to be plugged into wired Interent
– wireless can slow it down
– you can purchase “go bucks” to use different characters and download videos, I do this for some

We have to get to a point where we accept that students are seeing things on media all the time
– many of my kids don’t have parents at home who are helping them decide what is appropriate

Sometimes you can text to voice on a character in GoAnimate, it depends on how many points you have and the character you choose
– change actions and facial expressions

It is a matter of how creative they can be

and it is FREE

Anything you can do with iMovie you can do in GoAnimate, without using your own pictures
– it is around $8 for GoAnimate Plus that gives you more features

If I do another big project in GoAnimate I will probably upgrade my account, so my kids have the option to insert their own photos

This is a great opportunity
– it knocks out so many of your objectives
– it makes kids analyze and ask questions
– it gets them to that creation level

On my rubric I count off for spelling
– I like text to talk instead
– dialog
– adding punctuation

Great for composing and editing
– students can peer edit and proofread each other’s work
– everything is encompassed in one little 50 second cartoon

If you think creativity, you can cover so many objectives with this it’s unreal

I have five somewhat-working laptops in my room
– I made friends with my tech director, he knows I love technology and I integrate it
– when they see you are interested they will help you and work with you

Even with one computer, if you stagger your centers well you can get students to complete a cartoon in 10-15 minutes IF they have their storyboard complete

I have a student who has created over 150 GoAnimate animations on his own, one of his videos has been viewed over 650 times

I have a Ning now and will use Posterous next year because the school probably won’t pay for Ning again

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One response to “Cartooning Around in Language Arts by Malia Triggs #msmeca11”

  1. Christina Avatar

    I really like the idea of the storyboard as a “ticket” to get on GoAnimate. To those who grew up on paper and pencil projects, a step by step approach to story creation might seem familiar and logical.  To our students, however, who grow up posting every fleeting thought on Facebook and who tend to learn on the web by “exploring” (sometimes aimlessly), that thought process and planning may not seem natural. I fall in between the two groups and the process she describes sounds like a healthy balance between the traditional pacing and the fun and familiarity of web exploration.  Thanks for posting this great info!