Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Children's Literacy - A Dog's Life

A Dog's Life
Here's another great webpage that promotes children's literacy and children's learning. It's from Scholastic, and is based on the book A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin (author of the Babysitter Club books) about a dog called Squirrel. The interactive page is called Create a Tale.

Kids are encouraged to create a new story based on the characters from A Dog's Life. They do this by choosing from comic style backgrounds, characters, objects and editable speech bubbles. Once the pictures are organised, they begin writing their actual story, either with a given story starter, or an idea of their own.

What I like: the site helps young writers focus on the elements of a good story. It asks questions like "Who's There? and tells us that is the omniscient POV. If kids want to know more about point of view, they can click to be taken to a pop-up explanation. They keep building their story, scene by scene, creating a picture then choosing a start for the next part of their story. There's room for five scenes. Children get the opportunity to re-edit the text, and print it out once they're done.

Kids can find more literacy and learning activities based on A Dog's Life via the index by clicking on Explore. They might like to discover more about A Dog's Life and experiment via an interactive adventure called Bone Travels On where they need to read and make some decisions for the direction their new story will take. They can also listen to Ann M. Martin read an excerpt from the book, or discover more about the author.

If you're interested in other online places where children can create and read stories, check out my recent article, Online Resources for Reading and Writing.
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