Top Pick

Apps and Sites for Storytelling

It's important for students of all ages to be able to convey their point of view in a compelling and well-structured way. While storytelling has long been part of the classroom, it's also a part of daily life. To be the change makers of the future, students must learn to present their ideas and express themselves creatively. In ELA classrooms, storytelling has additional, practical purpose. By telling their own stories, students can become more critical readers, gaining new insights into narrative structure and characterization. To create stories, students must also build organization and executive function skills. Of course, digital tools have expanded the range of ways students can now tell their stories. The great digital storytelling apps and sites on this list run the gamut: from traditional storybook creation tools to more recent visual storytelling and presentation tools influenced by social media and blogging. Below you'll find our favorites, all of which empower kids to find their unique voices as storytellers, creators, orators, and individuals.

Interested in seeing how two of the best storytelling apps compare? Check out our EdTech Showdown featuring Book Creator and Shadow Puppet EDU.

Kid in Story Book Maker Publisher: Locomotive Labs
Easy-to-make personalized stories can help boost social skills
Grades Pre-K-1
Type App
Price $6.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Tell About This Publisher: RSA Group, LLC
Photo and word prompts inspire storytelling; app records the results
Grades Pre-K-1
Type App
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Imagistory: Schools Edition - Creative Storytelling Publisher: Imagistory Publishing Ltd.
Kids use pictures to create narrative adventures in easy-to-use app
Grades Pre-K-3
Type App
Price $7.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
StorylineOnline.net Visit Website: http://www.storylineonline.net
Notable actors' read alouds bring kids' storybooks to life
Grades Pre-K-3
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Write About This Publisher: RSA Group, LLC
Fun pictures and prompts are great for getting kids to start writing
Grades Pre-K-5
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
My Story Book Creator School Edition Publisher: Bright Bot
Sleek platform is a great artistic tool, intro to digital creation
Grades K-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Scribble Publisher: Fingerprint
Terrific book creator encourages self-expression for all young writers
Grades K-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Toontastic 3D Publisher: Google Inc
Flexible tool hands kids the reins for creative animated storytelling
Grades K-5
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
TeleStory Publisher: Launchpad Toys
Direct and star in zany TV shows with fun, easy-to-use movie maker
Grades 1-5
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Storybird Visit Website: http://www.storybird.com
Social storytelling fun; artwork inspires, but limits creative freedom
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Storybird Visit Website: http://www.storybird.com
Social storytelling fun; artwork inspires, but limits creative freedom
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
CAST UDL Book Builder Visit Website: http://bookbuilder.cast.org/
Sensitively designed so any student can write and share books
Grades 1-7
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Shadow Puppet Edu Publisher: Shadow Puppet Inc.
Resource-rich video slide-show creator a gem for a variety of classrooms
Grades 2-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
StoryJumper Visit Website: http://www.storyjumper.com/
Storybook creation site has great support for classrooms
Grades 2-8
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Monster Exchange Visit Website: http://www.monsterexchange.org/
Draw, get descriptive with fun, kooky monster-based writing project
Grades 2-6
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Pixton Visit Website: http://www.pixton.com
Popular comic creation tool well-tuned to classrooms
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Book Creator Publisher: Red Jumper Studio
Magically easy way to create and publish digital books and multimedia
Grades 3-8
Type App
Price $2.49-$4.99
Platforms Android, iPad
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Make Beliefs Comix Visit Website: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/
Comic creation tool stresses self-expression and upbeat messages
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
Animation & Drawing by Do Ink Publisher: DK Pictures, Inc.
One-stop animation tool for beginners through experts
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
GoAnimate for Schools Visit Website: http://goanimate4schools.com/
Make professional-looking animations with easy-to-use tool
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Adobe Slate Publisher: Adobe
Build and share slick presentations with photos from around the Web
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Office Sway Publisher: Microsoft
Cool scroll effects, flexible features boost visual storytelling tool
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Sutori Visit Website: http://www.sutori.com
A slick way too share knowledge via interactive timelines and stories
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Textadventures.co.uk Visit Website: http://textadventures.co.uk/
Play or design text adventures, but creation can get technical
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Twine Visit Website: https://twinery.org/
Cool interactive story creator can both dazzle and baffle
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Animoto Video Maker Publisher: Animoto Inc.
Slick video-slideshow tool lets kids tell stories and share them
Grades 7-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Youth Voices Visit Website: http://youthvoices.net/
Vibrant online community hosts authentic student writing
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Composer Pro Publisher: Demibooks Inc.
Fully loaded, top-of-the-line tool for creating polished ebooks
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price $9.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Historypin Visit Website: http://www.historypin.com
Crowdsourcing is key to making history accessible, approachable
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
TouchCast Studio Publisher: TouchCast
Cool tool takes videos to next level, but some privacy concerns
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price Free, Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Write the World Visit Website: http://www.writetheworld.com
Global community helps young writers write, revise, think, and grow
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated