App-Smashtastic Retelling Project!

I recently stumbled upon one of the most creative app-smash projects I have ever seen from Davyhulme Primary School, United Kingdom. The students were focusing on retelling traditional tales, as well as looking at punctuating direct speech. Here is a description of the apptivity:

To help them develop this further, the children created a comic strip of a traditional tale, adding speech bubbles and by using the iPad were able to fill the speech bubbles with videos of the children acting as the characters. This really helped develop the children’s understanding of how to describe the reporting clause. They were able to see how everything the character says including any punctuation, goes inside the speech bubble, therefore inside the speech marks. It also showed how well the children understood the story if they could act in character.

You can read the entire post here. App-smashing is the process of using multiple apps to complete a final product. This particular example uses the iPad camera, Comic Life ($4.99), and Thinglink. The background contains images from the story The Three Little Pigs with the faces of the students superimposed on top, thus making the students the characters in the story. Notice how the students capture the emotion of the characters through facial expressions (my favorite part). Videos of students retelling the story are revealed as you hover your cursor over each speech bubble. I’m sure the energy and excitement during the creation of this product was insane. It makes me want to go back to the classroom! Thank you class 2A for sharing your masterpiece. For more information about app-smashing, check out Lisa Johnson’s post: App Synergy: The Art Form of App-Smashing.


App Smash Workflow for an Interactive Comic:

  1. Use the iPad camera to take pictures of the images in the book you are reading (In this case, The Three Little Pigs). Also take pictures of your students that you will superimpose over the images from your story.
  2. Use Stackr to layer and crop your images from step 1 and save to your camera roll.
  3. Use Comic Life or some other comic creator app of your choice and insert the images from your camera roll. Add speech bubbles as these will be the place markers for the student created videos.
  4. Save your image created in Comic Life, or other comic creator app, to your camera roll.
  5. Have students record video of themselves retelling important parts of the book. The script needs to match the images that you took earlier. These videos will also be saved in your camera roll.
  6. Open Thinglink and upload your comic book image.
  7. Add the video tags from your camera roll and place them in the speech bubbles.


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