Friday, February 12, 2016

Make Stories at Story Monster

Make Stories at Story Monster
by Susan Stephenson,

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image has a fascinating website that’s very helpful to educators. One of the resources there is an attractive literacy game called Story Monster. Monsters are perennial favourites with kids, aren’t they? Whether in books, apps, or movies, combining monsters and literacy works very well.

Designing a monster at Story Monster is loads of fun. Once you’ve chosen the best combination of body parts and colours, you’re invited to choose a story setting - adventure, fantasy or science fiction. Then you dress your monster to suit, choosing hat and shoes. After that it’s up to players to follow directions and use up/down arrows to guide their monster, and space bar to have their monster eat the words according to the instructions.

For example, my pink flying croc monster, Chuck, flew along, being instructed to eat a verb, then a noun in a sky dotted with both nouns and verbs. I ended up with the sentence, “My monster vomited a wand.” I could hear it read aloud as I followed it with my eyes. Next, a little animation made my sentence come to life (blecch! thanks for that!) In my next level, I chose adventure for my story world and had to come up with an adverb, verb, adjective and noun. Result? “My monster loudly farted a pink dagger.” Kids will enjoy the nonsense, and along the way learn something about grammar and writing.

There’s a useful Story Monster resource kit available for download on the ACMI home page.

NB: The usage of the site by children does have some rules:

Some Site Content on ACMI Sites may contain language or images which are unsuitable for viewing by children.

Children under the age of 13 must have a parent or guardian register for them in order to register on an ACMI Site. If you are a parent or guardian and you provide your consent to your child's registration on an ACMI Site, you agree to be bound by these Terms of Use in respect of your child's use of the ACMI Site.
Children under 18 must not access any ACMI Site Forum unless supervised by an adult.

ACMI accepts no responsibility for any exposure of children to inappropriate material contained within the Site Content.

I certainly didn’t see anything in Story Monster not suitable for children, but teachers should note that kids under 13 need parental registration.

Credit: Images Courtesy ACMI

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