What is it?
Storybird is a collaborative storytelling tool. Students use collections of art to be inspired to write stories. One the art is chosen, students are able to build there story by dragging and dropping pictures and creating a story to match. It’s great for teachers because they’re able to easily create student accounts and assignments for students. It’s also simple to collaborate with others whether it’s another student in class or someone from another country! Storybird is an extremely engaging site that allows students to focus more on the content of their writing rather than drawing pictures!
I’ll be sharing four different video tutorials with you. The first video will show you how to sign up for a teacher account on Storybird. With a teacher account, you can create student accounts (without needing an email for them), give students assignments, and easily view any stories your students have written. The second video will explain how to use Storybird. You’ll see how to choose a collection of art, how to add pictures to the story, how to write the story, and then how to publish. The third video will share with you how to collaborate using Storybird. You’ll find out how to invite someone else to write the story with you whether it be a classmate, friend, parent, or global connection. The final video will show you how to embed Storybird so you can share student work on your blog, wiki, or other website.
Below you’ll find a couple example Storybirds I’ve created. Being able to embed them into a blog, such as this, or other site allows for students to have an authentic audience to write for. As you’ll notice, you have the ability to make the Storybird full screen which really brings it to life. As for the iPad and other similar devices, the stories can be purchased to download for $1.99 (USD). This will allow you to download a PDF file of the story which can easily be opened in the iBook app, on a Nook Color, or any Android device. This adds a whole new element to sharing student work.
Application in Class
Storybird is excellent for many writing assignments. It’s an engaging site that will help bring even the most hesitant writers out of their shell. As I mentioned previously in one of the videos, Storybird can be used as a way to collaborate between parent and child. What better way to bridge home and school than by having a child and their parents take turn writing pages in a book. You could then have a Book Share day where parents come in and read the story with their child to the rest of the class.
You could also find another class from another state or country to work with. Pair up students from the two classes and have them write a story together. Each child will bring their own style to the story while working together. Each class can work on them when they have an opportunity so the stories don’t have to be worked on at the exact same time. Once the stories are finished, Skype the other class and have students take turns reading stories. Each pair could read the pages they wrote from the book.
Storybird can also just be used to have students write on their own. The fact that the work can stay unpublished until it is finished allows it to be worked on over several class periods. Students could all work on their stories during a computer lab, if you have a laptop cart, or are lucky enough to have a 1:1 classroom. It can also be done as independent work in a center if you have fewer computers. Either way, I highly recommend that you give Storybird a try!
Resources and Links
*Have your students used Storybird before?*
*Do you see your class being able to use this to collaborate with others?*