Gebo Kano has just updated their app, Word Creativity Kit. If you want to teach kids to write, they first need to have a love and respect for words, their sounds, rhythm or sequence; how you mentally construct a concept or their visual representation; and how they can be grouped together or torn apart and given new meaning. Kids need the opportunity to experiment with that process to learn and develop their own voice. If we are all given a picture of a cat sitting at the windowsill, and then are instructed to write, “The cat is sitting at the windowsill.” – Yes, we are learning to write a declarative descriptive sentence, but once you’ve done that…Where is the challenge? Where is the fun? Where are your thoughts at the present moment? Word Creativity Kit, is a mind-blowing wildly creative app for older elementary kids on up (including adults). Every part of this app supports or lends prompts for creative expression through words. If you want a story maker, there are tons of apps out there. You can add pictures, talk about them, and most of the time, come up with something pretty amazing, but if you want to stretch how you perceive your world, this is the app for you. Let’s take a look!
On opening, you are prompted to open a new book. Once choosing your book icon, select from 1 of 7 themes for a random word pack. It is kind of reminiscent of the “Instant Poetry” refrigerator magnets from a long time ago. Themes of parties, space, holidays, cities, families, etc. are there to help kids channel and focus ideas. You are then prompted to the number of random words to play with on screen. The number of words to play with is customized from a few to many. Try to limit options at first, because when you have a lot, it is hard to choose just the right word to get started. This is where you can write -”A cat’s eyes through window pane, watching, waiting…” Add stickers save, and the page is done! Use the camera icon to save a picture to your camera roll. You can have multiple pages and even encourage your students to create the next new epic poetry novel or stop where they are for instant impact.
This would be great for classroom round robins in creating a poem or story around a certain theme. I can also see families driving on long trips coming up with a poem or story together. The ability to add words helps kids both reach out of their comfort zone and also be comfortable in using what you know to not get stuck when searching for a word. As we know, linear thinking will always get you from point A to point B, but giving kids the opportunity to try something new or different will always tell you how well they are integrating the material that you’ve taught them. It builds confidence, and apps such as Creative Writing Kit gives them a genuine voice to try out in a non-threatening environment. One of the best features of this update is that you are able to export a whole book to iBooks for reading and sharing – how cool is that?
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play everyday; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.