Common Sense Review
Updated March 2016

Scribble

Terrific book creator encourages self-expression for all young writers
Common Sense Rating 4
  • The home page of the app lets kids create a story.
  • There are tons of templates to choose from.
  • Fill in the blanks to write a story, and add backgrounds, stickers, sound, recordings, photos, and so on.
  • The app supports multiple user accounts per device.
  • Use real photos or stickers to help illustrate your story.
Pros
More than 500 drawing and writing tools with digital stickers, characters, backgrounds, and music, plus flexible publishing options.
Cons
No kid-friendly guide on the app about protecting personal information in public publishing.
Bottom Line
A quality way for kids to explore storytelling, illustrating, and publishing.
Stephanie Trautman
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

The design options -- from pre-crafted, fill-in-the-blank story templates to blank book templates or drawing-only pages -- create a highly adaptable, highly engaging user experience.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

This is kid-led learning at its creative best: Kids choose how to write (using pre-scripted templates, drawings, and recordings) and how they want to share (via private sharing, published online, or published in print).

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

Comprehensive FAQ helps kids and parents decipher the many options. YouTube and social media sites promote storytelling skills and describe how to "grow" a reader.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

You will get out of Scribble what you bring to it: Bringing a purpose for reading or writing is essential for classroom use. Depending on the age and skill level of your students, you could have kids start with the premade templates or let them start with a blank book. It's easy to imagine using this versatile creation tool as a free-write station, to prompt various writing tasks, or as a platform for peer workshopping. Kids could create fiction or nonfiction stories, how-to manuals, photo books, and more.

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What's It Like?

Scribble is a kid-friendly book-creation and -publication app that kids can use to write and illustrate stories, publish them online or in print, and view other kids' books. The more than 500 writing and drawing tools allow kids to convey their stories and its messages via words, fonts, colors, images, and more. Kids can even put their own face on a character using the device camera. Or, for more structure, students can follow one of many story templates, such as "If I ran for President" or "My first day at my new school." Students' works can be published publicly or privately, or printed copies can be ordered directly from the app. Students can save their story as a movie that they can watch anytime.

Scribble also offers kids the option to just draw to make pictures, greeting cards, or other one-page works. Essentially, this app acts like an online self-publishing house geared toward kids making and reading printed materials on an app (or in print, if you order printed copies for about $14 each). All books that users want to share publicly are held for 24 hours to make sure the content is acceptable for kids. Still, kids under 13 aren't allowed to create an account on Scribble; parents or teachers must help those kids to ensure that they know the rules of public publishing vs. sharing their work privately and how to protect their personal information. It's important to note that books or online displays of books will contain a notice that lists the submitting user's name with a copyright icon. If the books are going to be published to the app's gallery, it's important for teachers to make sure no personal information is posted.

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Is It Good For Learning?

In the classroom, this app is an excellent tool for kids of widely varying levels of writing enthusiasm and skill. More advanced and eager storytellers can start with a blank book and let their imaginations run. The premade story templates are especially handy for younger kids, reluctant writers, or kids who need more structure in their storytelling or creative writing. The premade story lines provide kids with scripts that include blanks to fill in details, sort of like Mad Libs. This also helps kids learn story structure (beginning, middle, end), as well as punctuation, capitalization, and spelling from the prewritten portions of the story.

As students use the drawing tools to write and illustrate, they are making decisions about how they want to convey their stories and its messages. Students can make a voice-over and use the app's musical choices to add another layer of depth to their storytelling. As kids use their imaginations and create stories, they can also view what other kids are creating in the gallery and learn from their work. Scribble can help kids become published writers in one way or another, and it lives up to its motto: "Imagine, Create, Publish."

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See how teachers are using Scribble