Thursday, June 8, 2017

Across the Ocean - a whale's story - a beautiful interactive school created narrative

A beautiful interactive audio visual iBook has been created from the writing, artwork and music from K-6 students at St Canice’s Catholic Primary School Katoomba around the story of a whale and her calf.

Students were inspired to create the story, to connect with a sculpture they had created and installed at Scenic World Katoomba.  It follows the adventure of the baby whale, Isaac, separated from his mother in a storm at sea and his encounters with a submarine and a island of garbage.

Student's created the storyline and artwork to go with the Whale story and then with the support of Principal Mark Geerligs, Teaching Educator - Music, Phil Rooke and classroom music teacher Kristina Frazer they also created music reflective of the story which was incorporated into a communal iBook.

The purpose of the soundtracks were to provide a musical soundscape to the whale sculpture and the story. The challenge was for the whole school to contribute to and create the soundscape from available sound sources; eg instruments in the classroom, body percussion and voice.

The sound samples were recorded in class on March 2017 in groups from Kindergarten to year 6 and in the case of Kindergarten, year 1 & 2, a whole class choir was formed to record the actual ‘whale song’.

This sound track features some deep sounds and also some spatial effects. For example, the baby whales appear at the beginning and are chasing after the mother whale - the mother whale (The "Hmmm" recorded by Kindergarten) can be heard deeper down and mixed more to the centre of the track. The Baby whales (The "woo" recorded by year 1 class) is a 'call and response' which shifts around the stereo field from the left to the right in response to the much deeper "mother whale"

How schools can use this iBook
Schools can use this as a stimulus for writing narrative both in digital and print form.  Using an iPad students can create a similar ebook using Book Creator by creating the text with artwork either digitally with an App like Brushes or via including a photo of a  physically created artwork.  Then students can record relevant music or audio to accompany the Book Creator ebook.

Where you can get Across the Oceans - a whale's story iBook 
You can download the iBook for free from the iBooks store at Across the Ocean - a whale's story.  Remember that you can download iBooks to an iPad or to the latest Macbook with OSX 10.9 as long as you have the free iBooks App on the Mac.