Monday, May 25, 2015

Digital Writing with Storybird

While attending the EdTech Team Minnesota Summit, I went to a session on digital writing in the classroom.  One of the tools that was highlighted during the session was a digital book-making website called Storybird.  At the heart of this site is the notion that images have the power to inspire. The phrase, "A picture is worth a thousand words," suggests that a single picture can convey what might take 1000 words to express.  The digital writing website Storybird leverages this concept for writing and publishing.

Storybird is a digital writing website in which students can create their own stories using curated images from illustrators and animators from around the world.  Students can use the website to publish their stories for others to read and enjoy.  Storybird works on any device with web access, it's free for teachers, and it's easy to use with any size class.  My second grade students love to make their own stories.  Throughout the year, my kids would be constantly making their own stories, and they would always want them to be read to the class by me for our daily story time.  When I learned about Storybird, I got really excited about the writing opportunities Storybird could offer my students.

As I learned more about the site, I began thinking about how early readers depend on illustrations and pictures to help them create meaning to what they are reading.  And, in developing readers and writers, we often ask elementary students to add drawings or illustrations to their writing.  Kids love to draw, and they have a lot to say when it comes to images.  A large curated collection of images students can use to inspire their own stories is what Storybird offers to get students writing.

Shawn Avery, a 6th grade teacher in Plympton, Massachusetts, put together a great tutorial on Storybird.  Check out his blog and view his Screencasts on signing up and using Storybird.  I know I will be referring back to Shawn's blog as I incorporate this digital writing tool into my classroom.

The following resources were using in this blog post:

Avery, S. (2011, September 5).  Re: Storybird: A Collaborative Storytelling Tool [Web Blog Post].
     Retrieved from

Sad, (2009, November 25).  The girl who wished to be a mermaid; Storybird Example.  Retrieved

Storybird. (2015).  Visual Storytelling for everyone.  Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your insight on how to use this application within learning experiences. This gives me an idea on what I can do with my daughter this summer. A Storybird or Blog post per week about their adventures, recent books read at home, or a movie review.