Junior Storytellers aims to build children’s imagination and creativity, improve their literacy skills, teach them the art of storytelling and help kids interpret and process emotions all whilst having tons of fun. It is a collaborative project between The Project Factory and Media Farm; an award winning production company with a long history of producing quality children’s content.
It was funded by The Project Factory and Media Farm in conjunction with Screen NSW and the Interactive Media Fund.
Using simple, kid-friendly step-by-step guidance, children and parents are shown how to structure and build a story. They start by choosing a ‘Story Pack’ (beach forest, park, etc.) that contains backgrounds, heroes and props. These assets are then placed in a special storyboard setup to create scenes across a set timeline, the length and nature of which is determined by the difficulty level chosen (There are 5 levels). The assets can be moved around the frame and kids will have the ability to adjust the position of their characters, their limbs, the direction in which they are facing as well as their emotions. They can then either add text or record their voice as narration to accompany each frame to complete their scene. They can continue completing scenes within each levels predetermined structure in sequence until their story is complete. Along the way the iOS app prompts them to include all the essential ingredients in the creation of a story; “Have you introduced your characters? What’s your story about? Don’t forget to end your story,” as well as clearly articulated instructions each step of the way. Their stories can then be viewed from the application or uploaded to the Junior Storytellers site for other kids to see.
The site has two primary purposes and one secondary purpose: to be a marketing platform and to be a centre from which users may publish and share their stories with the world. The website is primarily aimed at parents and kids. They will be prompted to visit the App Store and purchase the app. The front page of the site should make it clear what the game is and how it works – this could be using a video or static graphics. The site will contain a web store section, which allows parents to be redirected to the App Store for any app-related purchases and new Story Packs. The website will showcase stories submitted by parents and kids and be a portal for competitions.
Various educationalists as well as parents have confirmed that Junior Storytellers effectively and engagingly encourages kids to tell stories - both from their own imagination and retelling stories they have heard before. As one parent said: "Junior Storytellers is just sensational!"
Available for iPad as a free version (one pack included with others available to purchase) and as a ‘schools’ version with all content included and unlocked.