Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Teachers can ask individual kids to create stories, present research, document science projects or field trips, make photo slideshows, and more. All students have an individual account to make their own storybooks, or teachers can facilitate a whole class working together on a single storybook. Lesson templates, tied to Common Core Standards, give teachers a quick start to some creative ways to use this tool, although limited templates are available with the free account. The storyboard includes space for teacher instructions, so teachers can provide page-by-page guidance or just let kids create on their own. Teachers can take advantage of the voice recorder feature by recording their own voices for instruction or by allowing kids who aren't strong readers/writers to narrate their presentations.Continue reading Show less
Little Bird Tales offers a platform for kids to create digital storybooks. In their own unique accounts, kids use a drawing pad, upload images from a computer, add text, and record their own voices to create original slideshow stories. Teachers manage classes, add students, create their own storybooks, and browse pre-loaded lesson templates organized by grade. Lesson templates guide kids to complete such activities as reporting on folk tales from around the world with images, text, and audio narration, or counting dots from 1 to 100 by writing numbers on the dots and recording themselves as they count. When kids finish their stories, teachers can review their work on the teacher dashboard. Kids can choose to share their tales through email or post them on the Little Bird Tales website. (All tales are reviewed for inappropriate content before they're posted.) A free account allows a limited number of users, online storage space, and lesson plan templates; all users can print their storybooks or buy an mp4 download to keep. There's also a companion app.
As with all digital creation tools, Little Bird Tales' utility and learning potential is highly dependent on how the tool is used. The best tools allow for seamless learning with a user-friendly interface and lots of opportunities for kids to express themselves. Little Bird Tales does both fairly well. There could be more how-to help, but after an initial period of orientation, teachers, and even young kids, should find it easy to navigate and create stories. Kids don't even have to be reading, as the audio option allows them to narrate their presentations. And, with image upload and a reasonably extensive drawing board, kids have lots of ways to create. One missing feature is a video upload option.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
Speaking & Listening
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.