Thursday, February 12, 2015

Awesome iPad App: Toontastic

One of my favorite iPad apps is now completely free! Toontastic by Launchpad Toys is a digital storytelling app for iPads. Students use puppets, narration, animation and their imagination to tell a story. Students are guided through a 5 part story arc to develop their story. Final cartoons can be exported to the camera roll or uploaded to the ToonTube website for anyone to view.

Toontastic is available for free from the App Store and includes all the settings and toys from a variety of themes. Finished cartoons can be uploaded to the ToonTube website where can be public or private. Students cannot create accounts. Instead, the teacher would create a class account and all student work would be uploaded to the same location.

Toontastic has a great features that guide students through the steps of building their stories. The task and purpose of each step is explained in easy to understand language, while arrows prompt students to the next step.

Tap Create Cartoon, then New Cartoon.

For each scene in the story arc, begin by tapping the scene, then the Paintbrush.

Select a Setting.

Select Toys (characters) that play a part in that scene.

Tap the Start button and record the story while moving the puppets around the screen with your fingers. There must be narration or you cannot go to the next step.

Add background music to the scene. 

When all scenes are finished, tap the Done button. Give the movie a title and enter the Director’s name. The video will be created and can be exported to the Camera Roll. It's that easy!

Integration Ideas

  • Have students retell a selection from a story read during class.
  • Use the story arc to teach students story development.
  • Have younger students create a simple story with just 3 scenes: beginning, middle, end.
  • Have students recreate a famous scene from American history, such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Print out settings and character cards and have the students select characters that normally wouldn’t belong in a setting. Have students create a story explaining what happened.


I've used Toontastic with several different grade levels. I've developed a few resources that help students create their stories before recording them. These resources are free to download and use as you see fit.

Scenes and Toys - each theme has settings and toys. I've put each theme and all it's toys on it's own page. This makes it easy for students to see all the possiblities for their story elements. It's also useful for rooms where not all students have access to an iPad.

Storyboard Scene - this is a one page planning guide for each scene. Students draw their scene, the characters, and write this part of the story. 

Storyboard BME - this storyboard was designed for my kinder classes that created stories with a Beginning, Middle, and End. Students can plan out their entire story on one page.

Download my Tech Integration Challenge for Toontastic and see if you are up to the challenge!

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