Please welcome my guest blogger, elementary school teacher AND children’s book author, Susan Stephenson of The Book Chook. I’ve been enjoying her blog for a while now and I’m really excited to have her explain a great website where kids can create stories from pictures. I’m hoping this will get my kids excited to write this summer!
Are you looking for ways to arrest the summer slide? Are you interested in encouraging your children to write stories? I’d like to suggest you check out Storybird.
What is Storybird?
Storybird is a fantastic website that encourages us to use artwork created by Storybird’s real-life illustrators in the stories (or storybirds) we write. It’s free to register and use, with options to buy print books or upgrade for special features. All stories and comments are pre-moderated, and completed storybirds can be shared.
Why is Storybird helpful to children?
The stunning artwork and variety of digital books, many created by kids just like them, motivates kids to read and write. When we parents share the storybird creation process initially with our kids, they hear us “thinking aloud” about our own story-making process. This teaches them a lot about writing, in a natural, relaxed way. After that, many kids want to go on and create their own digital books at Storybird.
How can I best use it with my kids?
Let your kids read and explore there first with you, checking out the different books others have created. After that, make a book together. Stick to something simple for the first one. One method that’s easy is to find some pictures children like and create a single sentence caption about each. Later, once kids understand the process, they might like to use the art work of one particular artist to suggest a story and try to match pictures with text they create. In The Pobblepong Hero, my latest storybird, I searched via theme because our Australian Book Week is Read Across the Universe and I wanted something space-ish. Once I found the artist, the story just grew from those pictures.
Can I read an example Storybird?
You can read books online at Storybird. You can also embed them on a class or family blog. Below is The Pobblepong Hero. Use the arrows to navigate through this digital book.
Storybird is educational, encourages creative thinking, but most of all, it’s FUN, something I believe is important to motivate learners of any age. Children will enjoy looking at the range of pictures and use them naturally as creative prompts for their own writing.
Susan Stephenson is an Australian reader, writer and teacher who is passionate about children’s literature, literacy and learning. For free PDFs useful to parents and teachers, visit her website. To discover great educational apps and resources that help kids learn, check out The Book Chook.