From Page to Screen: Little Learners Retell with Keynote

Keynote is one of our favorite iPad creation apps! Our little learners love to be animators and create visual stories with motion graphics. As a launch to this project, kindergarten students explored the question: “How might we visually tell the adventures of characters or people?” After reading multiple versions of The Gingerbread Man, students brainstormed and mapped out unique retellings of the original story and created animations for their new accounts. 


Animated Gif of the Gingerbread man running away from a squirrel.

Learning Objectives and Success Criteria

This project was designed to teach the art of retelling stories and the art of map making, two kindergarten learning standards. We chose this project because we wanted students to apply animation skills in meaningful ways. Students first learned content and skills by reading and practicing retelling an original version of the Gingerbread Man and creating a detailed map of the Gingerbread Man's adventures. Additionally, students played and created with Keynote shapes and motion graphics during literacy rotations. 

The Process 

In small groups, students discussed ideas for a setting and plot of their unique retelling of the Gingerbread Man. Ideas ranged from going to the pool to getting lost in the zoo to going to the beach. Next, with a teacher, they mapped out their story identifying at least three problems and three solutions, along with a resolution. The following story map example shows the adventures of the Gingerbread Man who took a trip to the zoo. The animals wanted to eat him, but he was fast like the wind and would run, run as fast as his cookie legs would take him. 

Story map of gingerbread man
Story map of Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo

Once the story map was crafted, individual students chose a scene to animate. This process included designing the setting by using Keynote shapes and colors to create the background. Next, using the Apple Pencil, they brought the scene alive by drawing their zoo animal and, with the help of the teacher, created motion paths for the Gingerbread Man.


Giraffe at the zoo
Motion path of gingerbread man

After all the slides were created (three problems and three solutions), students recorded their retelling using Keynote audio. When recording audio with littles, we found that a practice retelling was essential for a successful recording. After recording the students' retellings, teacher and student worked together to time the animations and export as a movie to share with a public audience.

Showing how to record audio


Our littlest learners are amazing storytellers! Throughout this project, students learned to become creative communicators as they created original videos, used Keynote animation and shapes to communicate complex ideas, and presented their creations to a public audience. Each child chose which part they wanted to create, leveraging their strengths and talents. In any project-based learning experience, assessment is ongoing. Intervention happened in real time for students to understand and show what they know. Here is one of the final products:


Lesson Recap

Our kindergartners absolutely loved this project. In our learning environment, we introduce motion graphics beginning in kindergarten, empowering our learners to create with intention and amplify their voices. This project gave the students an opportunity to bring their creative thinking and visual stories to life. Once all the projects were complete, we celebrated student creativity by inviting parents and the larger community to the world premiere of "The Creative Retellings of the Gingerbread Man."

This lesson can be used with a variety of content connections and skills through the animated storytelling component:

💡Create and animate an alternate ending to a shared story.

💡Animate a folk tale, legend, or fairy tale.

💡Write and animate an original story.

What other ideas do you have for students to use motion graphics and Keynote to build literacy skills?

Learn how, and explore more Everyone Can Create Projects > 

An image of an illustrated student with an iPad showing their work to their teacher


All Comments

Posted on August 15, 2023

So cute! Love this Susan - teaching storytelling and expression to littles. Lots of skill development in this lesson. Thank you!

Posted on September 29, 2023

Thanks Susan. This is so helpful for our work in class with the challenges. I am sharing it with the team.

Posted on January 06, 2024

This is so much fun!

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