The most recent iWork update supports the creation of books and the addition of drawing in Pages with the same ease of workflow that we are accustomed to from Apple.
I put this update to the test by putting it in the hands of first graders and the outcome was fantastic! The ease of use by 6 year olds was nearly seamless. The only struggle I noticed was with their desire to change drawing colors. More on that later.
I gave the first two students (I’ll call them Madison and Eli) math tools of their choosing and asked them to teach me something.
Madison wanted to show what she knew about addition with a rekenrek (the beaded math tool in the picture below). Eli wanted to prove to me the area of an unfamiliar shape. Both students followed the same process to create their books.
First, they chose a template.
Then, they replaced the placeholder on the cover page with their own photo.
On subsequent pages, they continued to add photos along with annotations using the drawing tool.
Note for teachers: This is powerful!
The ability for students to annotate their thinking directly on a photo they took provides us with a peek into their mind! Think of this as the creative equivalent of Show Your Work. Rather than writing an abstract number sentence separate from the tool (the rekenrek) they use to build it, have the students mark up the actual photo – connecting the number sentence to the tool.
Now, for Eli. He selected this zig zag shape (shown in the picture below) and said he wanted to tell me how much it was worth. That’s first grade speak for composite area!
So, just like Madison, he selected a template and began adding photos to replace the placeholders.
He pointed to the shape and said it was worth 5. Then, I asked him to prove it. This is where I am pushing him to justify his thinking – to Show Your Work.
Without hesitation, Eli grabbed 5 one inch squares, placed them on top of the zig zag shape and took a picture. Now I know what he is seeing in his mind when he said the shape was worth 5. He saw 5 orange squares, placed in a non-overlapping way, on the composite figure. He used the drawing tool to write count the squares and 5.
The only hiccup in the workflow with these students came when they attempted to change the drawing color. Each tapped the color wheel rather than dragging the white teardrop around the circle. Though this was simple to overcome, it was important because it allowed for the students to choose their own color in order to add their personal touch to their books.
Another example of creating books in Pages is to capture the process, or tell the story, of a learning experience. This class had read The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. The students were tasked with solving the problems the relatives encountered during their visit.
The image below shows how this student inserted a photo of her cardboard creation (a bed for the relatives) into a book in Pages and began to use the drawing tool to annotate the parts. She’s writing cup holder on the image.
This image shows how she added text to the page to justify her thinking – The relatives only had one bed. There is no need to ask, “What is that? or Why did you make that?” as she has articulated each part of her creation. As the teacher, I now have a clear view into her mind and don’t need to remind her to Show Your Work.
I challenge you to use the new books feature in Pages and empower your students to show their work!