A Troop is a Group of Monkeys story app with music, narration and sound effects. I'm proud of that work and I wanted to share the end product with my son's class. So with iPad in hand, that's just what I did--and it was better than I could have imagined.
Along with my iPad, I brought a set of portable Bluetooth speakers. For a musician, low volume is death, so I wanted to make sure the kids didn't have to strain to hear the music. Plus it just boosts the energy of the narration and all the fun audio elements the app has to offer.
Haiku Deck (think Keynote or Powerpoint), I assembled an opening presentation on the iPad that sparked our discussion of writing, creativity, collective nouns, and what an app is. I included photos of Julie, illustrator Pamela Baron, Little Bahalia publisher Stacey Williams-Ng, and myself along with maps of where we all live around the country--from Milwaukee to Mountain View. The 2nd graders were fascinated that we didn't all live in the same town together. Then I took them through my process of setting the words to music and flipped through images of my home recording studio. If I had only gone through all that without the visual aids, it might have fallen flat. Putting faces to names and sharing shots of my workspace kept them engaged and it helped them understand the collaborative process. (Their teacher loved that!)
After a little Q&A, I grabbed my uke and we all wrote a song together. I asked the kids to pick something in the classroom as a subject. Maybe since Nate was sitting next to me, fiddling with his loose tooth, someone suggested we write a song about that. So we did. It was terrible, but terribly fun.
This was a day to remember. I can only hope the kids got as much out of it as I did. As for school visits, I'm hooked. Good thing I'm taking "Troop" to my daughter's kindergarten class next week.