A Second Grade Project - What programs are newest and best for grades one and two?

Thank goodness for the techie in our school who helped me design a really nice project to do with my second graders after I had seen an NCSS webinar which promoted all the wonderful 2.0 web tools teachers can use. Unfortunately, most of the wonderful technology tools want you to upload pictures from the web. KidPix is an old program, but at least the students can draw what they really want to and add texture to the ocean, or to a cloud, etc. for a background.

My second grade is studying Stephanie Harvey Reading Comprehension strategies and Lucy Calkin's writing strategies. Knowing that integrating curriculum is more meaningful for students, I was compelled to combine the curriculum areas and design a technological project that is engaging and integrates the students' learning.

Each student independently read a narrative non-fiction book about animals. While each student was reading, he/she recorded the "factual" knowledge they had learned in a packet with squares to simulate Post-It notes. At the same time, students were recording their "higher-level" thinking about the animals. (I wonder where the animal will sleep). (I infer that the mother penguin is going to get the baby food while the father penguin watches the baby). At the Computer Lab, students drew their animals with their habitats in the background on Kid Pix. They were advised to do all of the drawing and painting themselves, (no stamps, or hand-picked backgrounds). The students inserted all the text "information boxes" they needed to write the "facts" they had learned about the animals.

Our techie exported the Kid Pix pages to a program called "Voice Thread." Each student then recorded their voices to show their "higher-level" thinking. (Kid Pix has a voiceover, too, but the time students have to record is very short and would not have captured all of their thinking).

Does anyone know of a program that would allow students to draw and paint like Kid Pix and have a one minute voice-over?

This "slideshow" is not ready yet. Not everyone has recorded their voices. As for students who have finished their pictures and recordings, WOW! It is pretty powerful! It is Stephanie Harvey in the 21st Century!

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