Opinion Writing with Digital Tools

Introduction: Students will create a digital opinion piece about a book they recently read. Using an assortment of digital tools such as text, shapes, lines, a stamp library, and voice recordings, they will create a two slide movie which will be published on the classroom website.

Students will use an iPad app called My Story Book Creator. This app is available in both free and paid versions, with the primary difference between them being the number of stamps included in the library. This lesson requires one iPad per student.

Teacher will download the movie from each iPad when the student is finished and then publish them on classroom website.


  • For teachers: Provide each teacher with a grade level appropriate picture book that they can use as the basis for the two classroom activities.
  • For Students: Students will choose a book from their book bins.

LESSON 1: Supporting opinion writing with digital tools

Intended Learning:

Students will express an opinion and provide support for their reasoning using a combination of digital tools.

This lesson can be completed in four 15-20 minute sessions.

  1. Model and Independent Practice
  2. Slide 1
  3. Slide 2
  4. Review projects as a class or independently

Guiding Question: How can we use a combination of digital tools to express an opinion?”


A teacher created sample will be shown to the class. The sample should be viewed from a link on the classroom website and not directly from the iPad. Provide students with an overview of the project, highlighting the required components on each slide.

Present the My Story Book Creator app to the class. Briefly demonstrate how to access the app and navigation features. Identify icons for the required components (voice, text, stamp library, etc.) but do not explain the steps involved in using the app.

Independent Practice:

Provide students with an opportunity to explore and get familiar with the My Story Book Creator School Edition app. Students should be encouraged to ask “how to” questions to their peers, and not just the teacher. Teacher should support students, but not provide specific instructions unless another student is not available to answer the question, or unless the student is reaching a frustration point.


Each slide in the story should contain a combination of the following elements :

  • Text
  • Use of stamp library
  • Drawings with shape tools
  • Voice recording

Slide 1: Draw a new cover for your book. Include the title of the book. Using the voice recording tool, state your opinion about why the author chose that title. Support your opinion with a reason and end your piece with a wrap up sentence.

Slide 2: Draw a picture of one of the characters in your book. Explain how you feel about that character using the voice recording tool. Be sure to include why you feel that way. Use the drawing tools and stamp library to highlight and clarify key details. End your piece with a wrap up sentence.

Curriculum / Standards

Reading Literature Category: Key Ideas and Details (Grade 1)

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Writing Category: Text Types and Purposes (Grade 1)

Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.

Reading Literature Category: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (Grade 1)

Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Writing Category: Production and Distribution of Writing (Grade 1)

With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Speaking and Listening Category (Grade 1)

Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.