Tag Archives: digital storytelling

NEW! TechnoTales Coding Activities for Beginners

TechnoTales is a new STEM project by TechnoKids Inc. It includes coding activities for beginners. Primary and elementary students in Grades 2-4 follow the detailed instructions to create a modern fairy tale using Scratch Jr. They learn how to build scripts to animate the story action.

coding activities for beginners

TechnoTales has coding activities for beginners. Build scripts to create an interactive story.

Blend Creative Writing With Coding

The lessons in TechnoTales guide students through the writing process. The project begins with an exercise that forms a connection between storytelling and scripts. Next, students answer questions about an example fairy tale to recognize the story elements. Once familiar with the task, they use a planning sheet to select the setting, characters, and plot. Afterwards, step-by-step instructions explain how create the story pages. A checklist is used to help students review the completed fairy tale to make revisions. Upon completion, the Techno Tale is shared with viewers.

story planner for a coding unit

Imaginative resources support learning.

Storytelling and Coding Activities for Beginners

TechnoTales gradually introduces students to programming concepts. Each story page applies a different coding technique:

Page 1 – Once Upon a Time: Introduce the problem in the story. Animate the hero embarking on a quest using Motion and Looks blocks.
Page 2 – Find a Hidden Item: Engage the viewer. Tap objects on the story page to reveal a hidden item that will help the hero.
Page 3 – Get Help: Seek someone that will help to solve the problem. Count the number of steps to produce an animated sequence that triggers an event when characters bump each other.
Page 4 – Happily Ever After: Create the story ending. Send and receive messages to show the characters celebrating.

Download Scratch Jr to Complete TechnoTales

To use the coding activities in TechnoTales you must have Scratch Jr installed on your devices. Scratch Jr is a free coding app for iPad, Android tablets, and Chromebooks. The interface is designed specially for children. To introduce programming concepts, colored blocks are sequenced together to form scripts. It is fun and easy to build interactive stories, animated scenes, and games.

Scratch Jr interface

Combine coding blocks to build scripts that animate the story action.

Teach Coding to Kids Using TechnoTales Instructional Resources

When you purchase TechnoTales, you will receive:

  • Teacher Guide: Detailed instructions for teaching a coding unit provide tips and strategies.
  • Student Workbook: Digital worksheets with screenshots and illustrated scripts support learning.
  • Example Videos: Sample fairy tales created with Scratch Jr help students gain an understanding of the task and spark inspiration.
  • Scratch Jr Flashcards: Large colored or black and white coding blocks can be used to build scripts as a visual aid.
  • Review Questions: Multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or short answer questions assess knowledge of Scratch Jr tools and scripts.
  • Skill Reviews: Optional activities solidify learning by transferring skills to a new coding project.
  • Assessment Tools: Customizable checklists and marking sheets evaluate the fairy tale.
  • Extension Activities: Enrichment lessons challenge students to expand their coding skills.
  • Offline Coding Exercises: Board game that applies computational thinking to have a player complete a quest.

Spark Student Writing with Animated Comic Strips

Digital Storytelling
For reluctant writers and for creative writing enthusiasts, using technology to write a cartoon is a fun, highly motivating activity.

Digital storytelling sparks students’ imaginations. Adding elements such as images, callouts, text boxes, starbursts, and word art inspires students even more. Then creating animation effects and transitions makes the writing activity exciting and challenging.

How can you integrate comic strip writing into curriculum? Here are a few ideas!

  • Write an Original Story: Plan a story or simple scenario that has a beginning, middle, and end. Divide the action into panels. Use text boxes to describe the scene, callouts for characters to speak or think, and clip art to illustrate the action.
  • Only a Dream: Create a dream sequence that shows a series of imaginary scenes. This is an easy way to plan a digital story.
  • Illustrate a Wacky Scene: Have fun with a cliché or popular expression. Make a simple scene that explains what happens when pigs fly, there is a blue moon, or it starts raining cats and dogs.
  • Invent a Superhero: Create a character and give them a name and superpower. Have the hero save the day! Take part in a rescue mission, engage in an epic battle with a powerful foe, stop a crook, or retrieve a lost item.
  • Tell a Joke: Make people laugh! Use one slide to make a silly scene, two slides to show before and after clips, or several slides to tell a knock-knock joke.
  • Transform a Popular Story: Remake a nursery rhyme or fairy tale into a cartoon. Swap the characters, adjust the story line, or rewrite the ending to create a modern twist on an old favorite.
  • Retell a Story: Summarize the main parts of a story. Sequence the key events using slides as scenes. In the first scene introduce the characters and setting. The following slides illustrate the action.
  • Rewrite the Ending: Produce an animated scene that illustrates a different ending. Include a slide that explains why this ending is better than that of the author.
  • Makeover a Realistic Story into a Cartoon: Consider what a story would be like if the people were substituted with cartoon characters, the setting shifted to an imaginary place, but the plotline remained similar. Create a short animated clip of the cartoon version.
  • Join the Action: Insert yourself into the story. What advice would you share? How would you help? Recreate a scene from the story. Use a clip art character, photo, or web cam image to put yourself into the scene. Does your advice or behavior change the ending?
  • Form a Connection: Reflect on the story. What connection do you have? Do you like the same things as the main character, have you shared a similar experience, or does the story remind you of something you have seen or read? Explain the connection and use evidence from the book or your life to support your ideas.
  • Conduct a Character Analysis: How does the character change as the story unfolds? Create a three panel animated comic strip. In the first panel introduce the character at the beginning of the story. Use callouts and textboxes to show their mood, describe their character traits, and explain their role within the story. In the second panel illustrate an important event that causes a change or growth within the character. In the final panel show the character at the end of the story. How are they different?

Use any of these ideas with TechnoToon and Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint to inspire and spark the inner author in your students.

Cartoon Lessons

Digital Storytelling, Cartoon Style

Digital Storytelling
Inspire students to use their imaginations for digital storytelling with a twist – write in the style of a cartoon. TechnoToon is an all new technology project in which students create a digital story as an animated comic strip.

Students love the visual format of cartoons. The recent boom in graphic novels for children and teens confirms how popular this genre has become. Hook student interest by developing writing skills using the comic strip format and then animating the story!

View a Sample Graphic Story

About TechnoToon

In TechnoToon, students use Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint to construct a story with text boxes, images, callouts, starbursts, and word art. Then transitions are inserted between slides to divide the scenes. Finally, animation is applied to objects to sequence the timing of events. Upon completion, the digital story is published as a link with the slides set to play automatically. Challenging extension activities support learning with optional assignments such as advanced animation techniques, collaborative peer-editing, or screencasting.

digital storytelling

Hook student interest with digital storytelling. Create an animated comic with Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint.

The TechnoToon teacher guide includes many ideas for integrating comic style writing into curriculum: language arts, social studies, science, health, and history. Build computer and writing skills with a highly motivating, fun technology project. In the illustrated, step-by-step instructions, the student workbook includes story ideas, practice templates to complete, a plot planner, image search tips, a checklist, and more. Many sample digital stories created in Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint also inspire creative ideas. Optional extension activities offer enrichment suggestions and advanced animation techniques.

Writing a digital story as an animated cartoon is a sure bet to capture the imagination of young writers!