This week, it’s the Share a Story – Shape a Future blog tour for 2013. After five years, I’m still enraptured with the core idea: that sharing stories and books with kids helps us shape their futures by setting their feet on the path to reading. In conjunction with the tour, Terry (guiding light of Family Bookshelf) has suggested some projects bloggers can do. Participants who link their blog post that responds to a prompt to the main Share a Story blog can win wonderful book sets for home, school or their library. For instance, the prompts for Day 1 are:
- If you were creating a children’s library from scratch, what ten books would you start with, and why.
- In a still image or 30-second video, share what “literacy with baby” looks like in your house.
These would be great projects to involve older siblings – what ten books would your six-year-old recommend to new parents? How would your eight-year-old suggest setting the scene for a “literacy with baby” video?
Creating a book ad is another wonderful project to share with kids. It puts the focus squarely on sharing enjoyment of a particular book, or indeed, of reading in general. For parents/teachers like me who lack Photoshop skills, (oh dear, do I lack PS skills!) there are some simple online ways to generate and manipulate images. By trying these projects WITH our kids, we’re not only making sure they stay safe online, but also sharing our own thinking about learning with them. Talk like “I wonder what this button does?” and “How can we make it bigger?” shows kids we are learning too. It’s an excellent beginning way to help them think about and develop their own digital literacy skills. Preschoolers will enjoy pointing to a cute animal character or ladybug stamp so Mum can add it to their project.
Online Image Editors: Websites like Ribbet, PicMonkey and Pizap have tools that help us add effects, stickers and text to an image. Kids will enjoy the bling and love thinking up ways to add some fun to a photo of themselves reading a favourite book. For the image below, I used Pizap’s collage maker, uploaded four photos from my computer and added text. Instant book ad!
Comic Editors: Websites like ToonDoo and Creaza’s Cartoonist encourage kids to use the site’s art work to tell a digital story. By choosing just one panel for a template, an image can be developed that has something to say about books and reading. (Read more about these sites in Book Chook Favourites – Comic Creation.) I used Kerpoof’s Make a Picture feature to create the image below.
Poster Makers: Websites like Big Huge Labs and Keep Calm-o-matic will generate a poster. For Big Huge Labs’ Motivator and other toys, you can add your own photo. Keep Calm might be one to try if you’re not comfortable with having an image of your child on the internet. (Read more about these sites in Book Chook Favourites – Making Posters.)
An ad needn’t be static, like the images I quickly made as samples, above. It might have more content embedded in the image, like a ThingLink or be a video or multimedia presentation. Of course, you can start with some art work your child has made, too, and simply scan it. But if you want another quick way to create a book ad with kids, or to help them develop digital literacy skills, try some of the ideas above. I look forward to seeing all the creativity and fun!