April 14, 2012

Engaged Writing with Storybird

When I first discovered Storybird, I wasn't sure how well it would work. The idea is that students write a book based on the artwork of one of the sites many artists. First they choose the artist, then they build their story around the art. Want to see an example? Here's a Storybird I wrote recently to demonstrate theme, simile, and personification:

This week I was looking for a fun, easy way for the students to practice the concepts of theme, simile, and personification. So I created the book above, showed the students how to navigate the Storybird website, and gave them free reign. The requirements were:
* Write a complete story
* Use a theme
* Include at least one simile
* Include at least on example of personification
* Write positive, thoughtful comments on at least 3 other Storybirds from our class

Once they figured out how to see all the artists, they found the creation of their books to be really intuitive. Kudos to Storybird for their great user interface!

Here's an example of a finished story.

The most wonderful and surprising thing happened after the students were finished with their books.
"Can we write more?"
"Can we write these at home?"

That night 1/4 of my students wrote their own books at home! So it's official - Storybird is good stuff!! When discussing the premise of the site, to start with the art, all of my students agreed that it made their writing both more fun and more challenging (in a good way). One student pointed out that she struggles with drawing, so she felt great about having a professional artist as her illustrator.
To read other Storybird's written by my students for this assignment check out our class website.
The rubric I developed for this project is here.

~ Amanda

1 comment:

  1. Storybird is a fun, easy way for the students to learn and to grab the knowledge. This is kind of a new literacy tool for a new generation.