One of the tasks that our third grade students have to complete is to write a personal narrative. A teacher, new to third grade, reached out for some ideas to help engage students in writing the personal narratives. Of course, I thought of Buncee! Students would be able to visualize their writing by creating picture books using Buncee.
In preparation, we worked together to create mini-lessons based on the skills students would need to write a developed narrative. We created a brainstorming Buncee based on an organizer I found online. Then, we created lessons to develop sensory details in their writing. The last step was planning out their stories using a storyline, which we built in Google Slides so we could collaborate with them.
As the introduction to the unit, I created an example Buncee based on a sample personal narrative I found online. I began by sharing my Buncee with them in class. We used the example to start a discussion about what a personal narrative is. We also discussed what stood out from the Buncee I made.
They brought up ideas about the characters, the backgrounds, and how the animations grabbed their attention.
I explained to the students that they would be writing a story and creating their own Buncee to share with their classmates.
They were very excited to get started!
Once we got through the initial lessons, students began writing their rough drafts in Google docs. After lots of editing and helping students add dialogue to their stories, they had to prepare for creating their Buncees. We had to brainstorm some ways to make pages out of their stories. I showed them a narrative I wrote based on my son, Andrew.
We went through the story and “chunked” it by the pages. So we had to talk about what made us want to “turn the page.” Once students finished “chunking” their own stories, they were able to begin working in Buncee.
Watching them build their Buncees was really a fun experience. They had to learn how to bring in text, layer items, duplicate pages, etc. They exercised a lot of new skills beyond the basics they had used in other Buncee assignments.
While some students were wrapping up their work, there were a few students who had completed the project. These few helped me to bring my own story to life in Buncee. They were so excited to help me create my Buncee. When everyone was done, they added their finished work to a Buncee Board. Then, they were able to see each other’s stories.
This was the best part of the whole experience for me; students were cheering each other on by saying how great their story was, giving them a heads up on some editing that should be done, and leaving them emojis on the Board.
Our students are currently in a hybrid learning environment, so using the Buncee Board was a great way for all of the students to connect together.
Meet the Author
Deann Poleon is in her third year as a Technology Integrator at Lake Shore Central in western New York. Prior to this role, she taught ELA at the secondary level for 17 years. Since becoming a Tech Integrator, Deann has become a Google Level 1 and Level 2 certified educator, a Buncee Ambassador, and is presently working on becoming a Google Trainer. Most recently she has presented at the NYSCATE conference in 2020 and 2019 as well as FETC in 2020. She has her Masters Degree from the University at Buffalo. You can connect with her on Twitter at @DeannPoleon