Teacher Review for Storybird

Creative writing practice with a visual springboard for students

Christine D.
Technology coordinator
The Joy School
Houston, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
Students are able to choose a topic (horse pictures, cute pictures, etc.) or an illustrator from a huge database. From there, they are able to set up their books to begin their creative writing pieces. Students are able to make design a cover, a dedication page, and decide the layout for the pictures and text for their pages. There is a limited selection of pre-selected layouts to choose from, but were adequate for our needs. Students are able to write as many books as they would like and teachers are able to monitor their books, down to each sentence they write, from one easy teacher resources page. A feature that students really enjoyed was the ability to read their peers' books and write comments. Teachers can monitor these as well and it was a great way to teach students how to give positive critiques. This was a quick and fun way for my students to practice creative writing in a different manner, practice typing skills, have a chance to be "published" in a digital manner (their books can be published privately to the class or globally to all users of Storybird), read their peers works and comment, and present their books to others. The website is easily accessed on the computer and on android/iOS devices through the web.
My Take
I have been using this website with my students for about two years now. While many sites offer students the full creativity aspect of being an author and illustrator for a book, this one presents creative writing in a different light. They have to work from a preset collection of pictures to write their stories, which forces them to rethink the direction of the story elements in their stories. It requires them to go through each collection of pictures to see if there is a storyline that would best fit the collection of picture and see if the illustrator had a theme in mind, or decide that the collection is completely random.