Finding age respectful reading material for students with disabilities can be difficult. As teachers and therapists, we often find ourselves making materials from scratch or adapting already existing materials. Illustrating these adapted books can be tricky. Especially when you are adapting works of fiction with characters that need to stay consistent page to page.
Do you pay to use stock photos?
Do you go with whatever google has to offer?
Do you accept that the main character may look different on every page?
I know that we have been very frustrated trying to adapt chapter books for our older students. Our solution has been using Bitstrips for Schools.
We are currently working on adapting the book “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” for our middle school aged students.
The book is presented in PowerPoint with Pixon symbols at the bottom trigger to read,turn the page, or go back. Meet our main character,Callie in the page below:
Making characters in Bitstrips is very straight forward.
Once you create a character you can save it to use in multiple projects.
In order to position the characters you need to make a comic. We typically use a single block layout for our purposes. If you want to leave the story on the website you can choose multiple blocks.
You can find the characters you have created in the Art Library. Once you drag it on the screen, double click the character to begin positioning. I suggest playing around with all of the tools for a little while before starting a project.
Here are Callie and Grandfather positioned to reach for a birds nest.
When you are ready to insert your character into the PowerPoint you need a tool to take a screen shot. We use the Snipping Tool at school.
Once you paste the character into the PowerPoint, it is time to remove the background. You can do this with the Background Remover (it is the first option on the left when you select the Format tab).
The areas you remove will turn purple until you select “Keep Changes”.
You can then search for appropriate background images that fit your story.
The number of uses for Bitstrips for Schools is endless! You could even make characters for each of your students and write social story comic strips.
Pricing is pretty reasonable. You can look at the various packages here.
We were so happy to find a solution to our chapter book adapting problem and hope you enjoy it too!