My building technology teacher, Craig Corfman
, introduced me to a great piece of FREE software. The software is called xtranormal
. It allows you to animate your writing. If you have seen the new Geico Insurance
commercial featuring Albert Einstein; then you have seen xtranormal in use. It is a very simple program to use; I set some of my students to work with it and gave them no instructions or guidance. Within two class periods, my students had created some great short films based on inventions from ancient civilizations. Below I have included a film I created to introduce the concept of feudalism. The program is free and all your work is stored online. There are small fees to publish your movies.
Here is the process: (1) choose your setting, characters, background noise; (2) write your script; (3) choose your camera angles, facial movements and body animations. It’s that simple! The film below I made in thirty minutes. Talking to my intervention specialist, Jenna Daugherty, she had the idea of using it during creative writing assignments with the students. The students that I allowed to explore this program became very engaged in writing and animating. I saw students that have not written more than a few sentences for me all year, writing scripts that created entire short stories. Great free resource to help engage your students in the writing process. -Mike