Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our First Graders Share Their Favorite Picture Books By Creating Talking Avatars Using The Tellagami App

Children love the chance to explore, read, and share their favorite books.  

We often get so busy with all of the things we must teach them, this time is overlooked.  In our library, I look for opportunities and creative projects to tie this natural love of reading into the time they spend with me.  
When we take the time to listen and respond to what they love to read,  it is noticed. This is very important and essential as we help our children become life long readers.  It creates an exciting place to share and learn about all kinds of books, authors, illustrators, and ways to read.  

For the next couple of weeks, I was going to create a project to develop this passion even more and tie in standards throughout my curriculum.           
I first took a look at this curriculum as I planned the project.  

  • Uses technology to explore personal interests. 
  • Students will be able to explore a program they have not used before without being given instructions.
  • Discriminates between fiction and nonfiction
  • Evaluates grade appropriate quality children’s literature
  • Finds fictions and nonfiction books within the library
  • Chooses books according to interest and reading level
It was exciting to ask them to pick their favorite fictional picture books to share with all of us. They took their time choosing, reading, sharing, and deciding which book they would share.
I heard wonderful conversations taking place around the library as they were choosing their picture books too.  
It was really fun watching them get lost in picture books they have loved reading.
I have been wanting to show the kids Tellagami, one of my new favorite apps.  As the website states....

Tellagami is a mobile apps that lets you create and share a quick animated Gami video. 
From this picture above, you can see that it is very easy to create with Tellagami.  I quickly showed them the app and how to create their avatar and background; how to record their voice; and how to share their Gami when complete.  

I knew they would be great with these simple directions....and I really wanted to see how they would do navigating and creating with it on their own. 
They all lined up to get an iPad off of the cart.....they were very, very excited! 
The first thing they did was to find the Tellagami app on the iPads.  They opened it right up.  
They created their avatar using the simple buttons within the app.  One can change physical features, gender, emotion, and clothing.  

After their avatar is created, they are given the option to pick a background even from the app or find one online.  
You can also "Take a Picture" for the background and this is what I had our first graders do.  They took a picture of their favorite picture book that they picked from the library and used that as the background.
After their avatar and background were set, it was time to record their voice.  This is also a very easy step because all you have to do is "tap" you screen and it will pop up saying "record your voice." 
I had such a super time walking throughout the library to the different groups to see what they were reading, sharing, and creating.

As I expected, the first graders did an fantastic job navigating their way through the app and library to create their Gami.
As each of the first graders finished up their Tellagami, I logged into the iPads and shared them to my email account.  This took a little time since the iPads aren't aways signed in with our personal emails.....but this is the easiest way to share what the little ones have created. 

I have included just a few below.....This Tuesday and Thursday, all of our first graders will finish their Tellagami's and we will put them together on a Padlet.  We will share these with all of you by the end of the week!

By bringing them all together on a Padlet, it also makes it very easy for them to take turns as they are sharing them with their classmates.  You just put the Padlet up and have them take turns accessing their work through it.

We hope this inspires you to think outside of the box while letting the children create, collaborate, and connect with learning, literature, technology, access, and most of all with each other.


  1. I was looking forward to hearing one of them, but when I clicked on the arrow, nothing happened. It might just be my computer though. Maybe I'm not patient enough. Thanks for sharing the excitement though.

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  3. What a great job of merging passion for books and collaborative sharing all in one. I especially liked how you used Padlet to do the full class publish. I'm going to try this too.