One day on Twitter I saw that @techieang had just co-planned a literacy lesson with another teacher at her school. I thought that was a great idea and after connecting with her, we co-planned a "virtual" lesson for our students. Since she teaches a 2/3 grade split and I was looking for something that would also work for one of my 1st grade classes, we came upon the comic books at Professor Garfield Toon Book Reader. Not only could we read the same online stories, but there were four different ability levels to choose from.
We planned our lesson around the elements of comic books and how they help us read them. Next the students read one, thought about the choices the character made, and came up with a new ending, or for her older students, changed the story in the middle. While we had some technical difficulties with getting the website to work on her iPads, and the text was blurry on some stories, both classes were able to complete and share their new endings.
As it was the end of the year, I asked my first graders to tell me all the different ways they could create a comic with the software programs we have at school. They came up with using Kidspiration, SmartNotebook software and Microsoft Publisher. Some of them even remembered that we could take pictures from one software and paste it in another. Below is a movie compilation of some of their pictures. I am very proud of their ability to use different software to fit their needs and the effort that they put forth in this project. They had to read the story twice, complete a planning form, create the picture and then post the picture and their explanations on their blogs. With help from their classroom teacher, we were able to finish in time to share with the other class.