How To Writing: App Smashing With A Publishing Menu

How To Writing: App Smashing With A Publishing Menu

After our collaborative How To writing project, everyone was quick to get started on their own “expert” stories. Making lists of things we’re experts at helps generate ideas, then the stories start to flow!

App Smashing How To Stories - A Publishing Menu

We’ve published our writing several different ways this year, so I offered an idea menu of apps to publish with to my class. This is by no means a comprehensive list of tools. I just wanted to provide them a jumping off point to get started when they were ready to publish. Please feel free to download the menu here.

We use this menu as a talking / planning tool during a publishing conference. I sit down with each student and we read through their work looking for ways to revise and edit. Then, when it’s just right, we make a plan for them to publish. This is always a messy process! I’m on the floor working with a few students at a time, a pile of papers surrounding us, and other students coming up for advice or to proudly share their work. It’s a bit of a hot mess, but it’s so rewarding for all of us. The app menu does a great job of helping students choose, or sparking other ideas. It’s also nice because they can walk away with it and remember each pice of their plan.

A Few of Our Favorite Tools –

Explain Everything & Pixabay:

One student published this brilliant How To about carving pumpkins. She downloaded all the images from, then animated them in Explain Everything to tell her story.

Adobe Voice App Smash:

This simple production of How To Play the Piano is accompanied by piano music that was easily added in Adobe Voice. The pictures were done in MoMA Art Lab. Arrows and labels were added with Skitch.

Adding Skitch:

I love how students used Skitch and Adobe Voice in different ways. This student chose to take pictures of here work, then augment them with Skitch before creative a video story.

After all the stories were ready, I put the links onto a ThingLink so that we could easily share them for our writer’s celebration. We love organizing our work this way!


MZ Sig

4 Responses to How To Writing: App Smashing With A Publishing Menu

  1. How did you get a link for each finished project? Did you have students upload to google drive? We are getting ipads for K-2 next year (already 1:1 3rd grade-High school) so I’m always looking for easy ways for the younger kids to share their work! Thinglink looks great! I’ve heard of it but hadn’t checked it out yet. Thanks!

    • Each student uploaded their project to our YouTube account. Then I just grabbed the link. They also post easily to their Kidblog with the YouTube link. Google drive would work as well, but I’m not 100% certain it would play on the ThingLink. I think it would though. You’ll love iPads with the K-2 crew! Enjoy the adventure!

      Thank you for all these creative and practical how-to ideas. I am a lecturer at Stellenbosch University and I have just started integrating ipads into my lessons for my B Ed education students. Two colleagues and I also started a after school literacy project with a small group of students (ages 6-13) who are struggling at school. We are still learning about integrating technology into lessons ourselves and we are finding your ideas exciting and very helpful.
      Thank yo so much.
      Renee nathanson