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Adobe Spark: Structured Retell and Summary Writing (Mobile App)

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector, WiFi access, iPad(s)

Activity Description

Teachers and/or students use the app to create a digitized version of a story. Students listen and watch the digital story and retell it in their own words (using key words as provided) for a structured retell activity. As a follow-up, students write a summary recounting the story they hear. The sample story is "The Brahman's Wish" from the book True Lies: 18 Tales for you to Judge, told by George Shannon.


  1. Select a story or have students write their own stories in either a creative writing exercise or to tell an "All about me" type story..
  2. Prepare a warm-up activity or lesson for the speaking and writing you would like students to produce.
  3. Select key words from the story to provide to students to use in the structured retell and in writing a summary of the story.
  4. Download the app on your and/or student device(s) or request it be added by your IT support staff. Note that work created on Adobe Voice can be shared via a Web address (URL) and can be viewed on any browser, so iPads are not needed for viewing, but the iPad app is necessary for creation. (See the Teacher Tips, below, for what you can do with the app.
  5. Enable Wi-Fi on the iPads if that has not already been done.
  6. E-mail a link to the video to share publicly or privately, viewable on any Internet browser.


  1. Open the Adobe Spark app. In Explore, view samples, as desired.
  2. Select Create a New Story. By default, an on-screen tutorial will guide you through the process of creating a digital story. Exit the tutorial at any time by selecting Skip the tutorial in the top left.
  3. Select “Want inspiration?” and a category (Personal, Business, Causes, School, Greetings, Tales, and Instructional) to see suggested ideas.
  4. Enter a title (or choose Skip This to add a title later) and select Next.
  5. Select a story structure (Promote and Idea, Tell What Happened, Explain Something, Follow a Hero’s Journey, Show and Tell, Share a Growth Moment, Teach a Lesson, Share an Invitation, or Make Up My Own) and select Pick This.
  6. Allow access to your iPads microphone, and then select Get Started.
  7. Press and hold the microphone icon to record the first line of the story. If prompted to permit the app access to the device’s microphone, accept.
  8. Tap the plus [+] icon to add an icon, photo, or text. Tap the plus [+] in the bottom right to add a new page.
  9. For icons, tap the star to find an icon related to the story. In the search box, type in a key word to find an icon tagged as Creative-Commons licensed. To select an icon, tap it.
  10. For photos, tap the photo icon to find photos on your device, in Lightroom, Creative Cloud, Dropbox, on Facebook, or take a picture. Tap the magnifying glass to search for Web photo tagged as Creative-Commons licensed.
  11. For text, tap the text icon and type in text. Select Done.
  12. Change the layout by selecting Layout at the top. The options are: one thing, two things, fullscreen photo, thing and a caption, thing and a full photo.
  13. Select Themes to change the background color/pattern and text font. Tap a theme to select it.
  14. Select Music at the top to change the background music. Select one of the songs to listen and change it by tapping the song title. Scroll to the far right to “My Songs to select and add music from your device. Note: The app automatically creates credits for the Web images, icons, and music.
  15. To delete a slide, tap the up arrow and select Delete Page. You can also choose to copy the page by selecting Duplicate.
  16. Press the Play button in the viewer to preview the digital story.
  17. To finish and save the movie, press the Share button in the top right. Change the title, as needed, and add a subtitle, as desired. Enter a category, edit credits, add author information, and make public or private. Select sharing option (Facebook, Twitter, email, message, add the URL to clipboard, or add to the Camera Roll) and select Share. Wait while the app renders the video. Do not exit the screen.
  18. Conduct a preparation warm-up activity/lesson.
  19. Provide students with a list of words from the story and explain unfamiliar vocabulary.
  20. Share the Web address (URL) for the story with students or project from a computer. Let students watch and listen to the story as many times as they need and allow them to take notes, as desired.
  21. In pairs or small groups, students retell the story using the words provided.
  22. Follow up by having students write a summary of the story.

Teacher Tips

  • For more information on using the app, see the video tutorials on Adobe Voice YouTube Channel , Adobe Voice Support  page, and the Adobe Voice Blog .
  • With the app, you can:
    • Pick from thousands of copy-right free images and icons to show your ideas or use your own photos
    • Add text
    • Choose from several themes (backgrounds and text fonts) and layouts
    • Add voice-over narration with touch recording
    • Voice automatically incorporates animation
    • E-mail a link to the video to share publicly or privately, viewable on any Internet browser

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  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions

Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals

Mobile Device


  • iPad
  • iPhone

Apple Store

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.