The Collins Big Cat iPad apps are part short story and part story creation tool. Each of these free apps, produced by Harper Collins, contains a short story that students can read to themselves or have narrated to them. The stories contain interactive elements that students can move around on each page of the stories.
After reading and or listening to the story in the app students can create their own stories using settings and characters that match the theme of the story they just read. On each page students can select a background, drag design features into the background, drag characters into the story, add text, and record their own narrations for their stories.
The Collins Big app that I tried was It Was a Cold, Dark Night. In the story I followed a hedgehog as he tried to find a warm place to sleep. The story contained a quiz designed to check my understanding. When I created my own short story the elements that I had to work with matched the tone and theme of It Was a Cold, Dark Night.
The Collins Big Cat apps recently won the BETT 2013 award for Primary Digital Content and I can see why. Children will enjoy reading the stories and creating stories in all eight of the free apps.