It’s free. It’s filled with super-cute art. It encourages story-telling by drawing on students’ ability to click, drag, drop, and save.
I first encountered Storybird last year when I was looking for Web 2.0 tools for foreign language instruction. Once I signed up for my account, I decided to build my first Storybird using option b, explore themes; I chose pandas, out of curiosity, and got five suggested artwork options.
From there, it took a few minutes of clicking and dragging for me to figure out how to add text. The system provided plenty of additional illustrations on either side of my work-in-progress. Adding additional pages was intuitive (use the “add page” button!), and publishing the story wasn’t difficult. The options for both private — no one else can see the storybird — and public are great.
When I showed it to my son, who isn’t the biggest fan of drawing, he liked that he could choose his picture. Even young students want to customize their learning experience and have that sense of ownership, especially in an educational system that passes out the same worksheets to every child in the class.
I can see where this would be a fun activity for an elementary ELAR class. Students could pick just one piece of artwork and develop a brief accompanying explanation. They could be paired to write a collaborative story with a prompt like “what happened right before this picture?” Storybird could also be used effectively with ELLs, to help develop a sense of narrative in English.