Friday, January 16, 2015

App Smashing :: Turkey Travels!

My students love writing and creatingAt the end of November, we wrote fanciful stories about a troubled turkey, and we just completed the illustrations. We are finally ready to publish our funny fantasies!

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Turkey Takes a Vacation!

Stories and Vacation Photos by Mrs. Yollis’ Third Graders

Turkey Visits Paris, France

By Sean

     Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Mrs. Dole who lived in California with the Howard family. Mrs. Dole didn’t like the idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so she disguised herself as a tourist and ran away to France.

   She decided to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall (300 meters). Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tower. About 2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower in the first year it was built! It was built by 300 steel workers!

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After she took the double decker bus to the Lourve Museum to see the  Mona Lisa. It is 508 years old! It is an oil painting. The artist is Leonardo Da Vinci. Then took a flight back to California because Thanksgiving was over.

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Turkey Visits Japan

By Troy

     Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Bob who lived in California with the Joey-bob family. Bob didn’t like the idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so he disguised himself as a tourist and ran away to Japan. When he got there, he visited Mount Fuji and found out it is 12,388 feet tall! 

In fact, it is the tallest mountain in Japan. As he looked up at the colossal, snow-covered peak, he felt amazed. Since the volcano hadn’t erupted in hundreds of years, he thought it might any minute.

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He decided to rush over to Itsukushima Torii, which is a 52 foot high gate that is the entrance into a Shinto Shrine, but he discovered that he had to wait for low tide to get to it.  Finally, the tide went out, and Bob asked another tourist if he knew any facts about the gate. The tourist told him that some people drop coins in front of it and make wishes. Bob wished never to be in California in November for the rest of his life!  And, that’s exactly what happened!

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Turkey Visits Paris, France
By Ruby

Once upon a time there lived a turkey named Mrs. Midas who lived in Sacramento, California, with the Midas family. Mrs. Midas didn’t like the horrifying idea of being the main course at Thanksgiving dinner, so she disguised herself as a tourist and ran away to France. While Mrs. Midas was looking around, she wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris. She thought about how many feet tall it would be. She found out it was 984 feet ( 300 meters).

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Mrs. Midas wanted to waddle to Versailles to learn some facts.  She discovered that Versailles has about 1,300 rooms. There is a famous room called the Hall of Mirrors. 

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Next Mrs. Midas traveled to Louvre, so she could learn a fact or two about the Mona Lisa. Mrs. Midas found out that the Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The Mona Lisa was completed in 1506, so it is 508 years years old! Mrs. Midas loved France, but she knew that the Midas family would miss her so she went home. She knew she would be back next Thanksgiving!

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Read all the stories and see the fabulous vacation photos! Click Here!

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Would you like to know how 
we made this project? 

Steps Taken to Complete the Writing Portion 

First, we read Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano.  The funny fantasy follows our feathered friend as he finds out what Americans feast upon for Thanksgiving.  

Second, we selected an exotic vacation location for Turkey. (If he left America over Thanksgiving break, he would not get eaten.)

Third, we researched a vacation destination using reference books and World Book Online. Two landmarks were chosen from a foreign country and facts were collected. 

Fourth, we wrote the first draft of our turkey narratives. Once written, Mrs. Yollis opened her Google Drive on five classroom laptops and students took turns typing their revised stories on one document. (It was fun to watch the text getting added from five different people! Soon students will have their own Google Drive and will be able to type using their own GAFE Drive.) 

Steps Taken to Complete the Vacation Photos 

We used Greg Kulowiec's idea of App Smashing (use multiple apps to create a project) and were able to provide "vacation photos" from Turkey's Trip! 

Here are the apps we smashed to finalize our project: Google Earth, Google Drive, Blogger, the iPad camera roll, and PuppetPals Director's ($4.99) *Or use PicCollage for free (Thanks for the tip, Tina Schmitt!)  

First, each student created a paper turkey and decorated it. 

Second, each student shot a photo of  his/her paper turkey.  It was automatically saved  to the camera roll on one of our seven iPads.

Third, each student went on Google Earth and found one of the landmarks from Turkey's trip. (Example: the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, German) A screenshot was taken which automatically saved to the iPad camera roll. Students repeated this step for their second landmark screenshot. (Example: the London Eye or Big Ben)

Some students had difficulty getting the perfect screenshot. Sometimes they were too close in Google Earth and the photo was blurry or no one could tell what it was; sometimes they were too far away and no one could tell what the landmark was. The strategy of trial and error was applied. Students who were successful helped others who were having difficulty. 

Fourth, each student went into PuppetPals Director's Cut app and uploaded his/her turkey photo from the camera roll. In PuppetPal Director's Pass, the students were able to outline the turkey and make it a puppet.

Fifth, each student stayed in PuppetPals Director's Cut and uploaded their two landmark screenshots taken in Google Earth from the camera roll. Each photo was imported as a PuppetPal Director's Pass scene

Sixth, each student made TWO PuppetPal Director's Pass scenes. Each student placed his/her turkey puppet in the first landmark scene and took a screenshot. The screenshot was automatically saved in the camera roll. The student repeated this step using the second landmark scene. The second landmark screenshot was saved to the camera roll. 

Here is Nicholas' turkey in Berlin, Germany. He found a Google Earth image with a double-decker tour bus, so he placed his turkey on the bus! So clever!

Again, some students had difficulty getting the perfect screenshot. Sometimes they made the turkey puppet so big it blocked the landmark; sometimes they made the turkey puppet was so small no one could see it. The strategy of trial and error was applied. Students who were successful helped others who were having difficulty. 
Some student used vacation photos from friends. Here is turkey with Mrs. Minicozzi, our tech teacher! 

Seventh, each student emailed his/her two "vacation photos" from the camera roll to Mrs. Yollis' email

Finally, each student (or Mrs. Yollis) inserted the "vacation photo" photos into the group Google Doc.

We hope you enjoyed our stories!

Which turkey narrative did you enjoy?

What are some other apps we could smash? 


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I loved this project. I loved how it had informational text in a fantasy story. I liked that everybody could choose their own places for their turkeys to visit. My favorite part was when people were done with their stories, they could help other people.

    What was your favorite part of this project and why? If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you visit? What do you want to see there?


  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I really enjoyed making Turkey Takes a Vacation. Although, it was a little bit of hard work smashing two apps together, but it was worth it. When you finally published the turkey stories and when you showed us the stories, my eyes lit up because after that hard work it looked really cool and I love making stories because I can make up characters and a humerous story. I also think that when I teach people about Paris, France I clarify my own learning. I hope we can make another story like this.

    Kayla :]

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    Those photos are so cool, it was fun app smashing in class. Everyone did an awesome job writing, it was hard but we did it.
    You all tried to finish it in one day, and almost everyone finished it.

    I hope to visit everyone's places.
    What country would you like to visit?:)


  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I loved app smashing! It was so cool, really fun, creative, and sort of like your own PLN! I can't wait to do another project with app smashing.

    I was entertained by these funny, fantastic turkey tales. @Nicholas, I especially liked when you had that clever, creative idea to put your turkey on the bus.


  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

    I am so impressed with this terrific turkey project! It took a lot of work and good listening skills to follow the directions to smash up these apps plus a great deal of creativity and research to write such interesting stories.

    I couldn't possibly pick a favorite as each story was unique and delightful!

    Excellent work by all students and kudos to Mrs. Yollis for once again combining fun and technology to enhance learning.

    Barb (Troy's Grandma from Wisconsin)

  6. Dear Mrs.Yollis and class,
    Even though I didn't finish the Turkey Tales yet, I love how all the stories turned out! The people who finished and their story is up did a great job. This is a really fun project. I am glad we do so many collaborative projects like this.


  7. Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,
    Thanks for the fun idea! It inspired us to write our own stories. We used our flat friends and had them visit different states. You can read more about it on our blog.

    Thanks again,
    Mrs. Schmidt
    Grade 3 Teacher


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