What it is: Addison Tales is an interesting interactive site that asks your students to contribute content. This ongoing competition challenges students to invent an imaginative story character for Addison’s Tales. When students visit the site, they will be introduced to Mr. Cornelius Addison. If students click on the sparkly stars, they can visit the story’s characters. When students click on Mr. Cornelius Addison, they will be taken to a story called “The Dream”. The story is about Mack’s wild and imaginative store where he sells characters. The story urges students to add characters to the store and then to “trap” their characters inside finished stories so that they don’t just remain figments of the imagination. When students create their own characters, they make them “real” like the solid characters in the cottage that can be discovered inside the apps that are available from Addison tales in the app store. The challenge is for students to write and draw interesting characters.
How to integrate Addison Tales into your classroom: I think the way that Addison Tales combines technology, writing, drawing, story and imagination is brilliant! Read “The Dream” with your students using classroom computers, an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer. For those of you with iPads in the classroom, “The Dream” is also available as a free app. After reading the story, talk about the types of characters described in “The Dream.” This is a great way to get your students thinking about description and imagery! Ask students to write down the adjectives and descriptive words that they remember from the story. Students can choose a character from the story to draw. For a fun class activity, invite students to all draw the same character and see what similarities and differences exist between student drawings. (This can lead to some fun discussion about artistic license!)
After students try their hand at describing characters from the story, they can work on creating their own character. Students should think carefully about word choice and imagery. Through December (2013) Addison Tales is running a competition where students can submit their characters. Each week, Mr. Addison will frame a select number of characters on his wall with the artist’s nickname, country and character name for everyone to see. At the end of the month, one of the most curious of the characters submitted will be turned into a plush toy and sent to the lucky artist. Pretty great reward!
Tips: The contest portion runs every month through the end of December. Even without the contest, the site offers a great way to introduce your kids to descriptive writing and imagery!
What do you think of Addison Tales? How do you plan to use it in your classroom?