Common Sense Review
Updated December 2015

Imagistory: Schools Edition - Creative Storytelling

Kids use pictures to create narrative adventures in easy-to-use app
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • A simple guide introduces users to the two main activities in the app: narrate stories and review saved stories.
  • Choose from six fully illustrated stories; quietly review to flip through the pages or start recording.
  • Stories have a mix of fantastical, adventure, and realistic themes.
  • After recording a story, it gets automatically saved with the author's name; it can be shared and reviewed at any time.
  • Pass through the gate to the parents-and-teachers section to star stories as favorites, share them, and more.
Welcoming illustrations and user-friendly controls make for a fun experience.
There are only six books to narrate, without any option to upload or create your own from scratch.
Bottom Line
Illustrated story prompts are a great start for creative storytelling.
Mieke VanderBorght
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

The included stories have nice illustrations that depict fun and silly adventures. Kids should enjoy getting creative as they narrate what's happening in each picture. With only six available stories, though, choice is limited.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids work on language and speaking skills as they narrate pictures. Illustrations follow a clear story arc, which can help kids build storytelling and organization skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

A how-to guide helps orient new users, and a teacher's guide gives helpful usage suggestions. Kids can listen to stories they've created. As an open creative platform, the app is also easily accessible.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

There are some great suggestions for how to use Imagistory: Schools Edition - Creative Storytelling in the app's parents and teachers section. Kids can narrate stories individually by choosing which story to use, or teachers can assign the same story to all kids, then review everyone's stories to hear the variety of things kids invented. Kids could potentially narrate stories in small groups, with a different kid narrating each page. Teachers can focus on particular vocabulary words or themes by asking kids to incorporate certain aspects into their stories. Explore the main elements of story by having kids review the illustrations first then map out their story highlighting the beginning, middle, and end, as well as the characters, problems, resolutions, and other important points in a story arc. Kids can dramatize their stories in small groups or create their own illustrations and stories offline.

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What's It Like?

Imagistory: Schools Edition - Creative Storytelling lets kids record their voice as they narrate premade picture books. Choose one of six stories; kids can preview the book with the quiet-read option or jump right in to the record feature. Once they tap "create," kids pose for a photo to accompany their chosen author name and immediately start narrating the story. While recording, kids swipe the screen to turn the page until they reach the end where they can listen to their story, record a different one, share it (after passing through a gate), or exit and choose a different story.

Finished stories are saved in the "listen" section. In the parents-and-teachers area, those who can pass through the gate can star stories to mark them as favorites, share stories, go through a user guide, or read teaching tips and extension suggestions.

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Is It Good For Learning?

It's great fun for kids to imagine and narrate their own stories, and Imagistory's easy-to-use interface makes this process a piece of cake. It's nice that kids can preview the books to get an idea of what the illustrations show. Though even after previewing, kids may feel hastily thrown into the recording session immediately after tapping "create." A separate "record" button could help kids feel more in control.

At the time of review, there were only six available stories. There are a good variety of themes, from fantastical adventures, to silly bubbles coming to life, to a realistic-looking day at the beach. Yet it would be great to see more options offered up front, especially considering the app's price. Even a "draw your own" option could be a nice alternative; kids could create their own illustrations from a blank slate and some simple drawing tools and then narrate their own story. For the most part, Imagistory: Schools Edition - Creative Storytelling has a nice concept, a user-friendly interface, and some good support features, all adding up to some great sparks for creative storytelling.

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See how teachers are using Imagistory: Schools Edition - Creative Storytelling