I was reminded about Storybird at my March District Librarians meeting last week and realized that I haven’t shared it with students and teachers at my new school this year.
Storybird allows anyone to “make gorgeous, art-inspired stories in seconds.” (Or, more realistically, minutes.) The site has a huge collection of searchable and browse-able artwork, and a simple drag-and-drop format for creating online picture books, chapter books, and poetry pages.
Users can’t upload their own artwork, so students who write a story first may have difficulty finding exactly the right art to match their words. For that reason, it might be best to let the art inspire the words, which is helpful for students who have trouble coming up with ideas. Once students have chosen the artwork they want to use, they add the pictures to their book pages (as many or as few as they want) and type in their text. Students can save their work and continue to edit it later, until they are ready to publish. Published works can be shared or kept private.
Education accounts are free and allow teachers to create classes and assign user names and passwords to their students. This makes it easy to monitor student progress. Stories can be viewed online at the Storybird site and can be embedded in a website or blog, but there is a fee to download them. Printed copies of finished books can be ordered from the site for a fee, and you can even use the site as a fundraiser. Your students purchase published copies of their books, and you keep 30% of the sales.
Here’s a Storybird book I created as I was learning to use the site tools. (I was trying to model writing rich descriptions by using lots of adjectives and adverbs.) It only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
If you’re a fan of Storybird and you have any user suggestions, or want to share a story or poem, please leave a comment!