The tool that I am presenting in this post is called Storybird. It can be found at the www.storybird.com site. I used this tool recently with some of my classes to make writing more interesting and enjoyable to them. They are constantly complaining about writing being boring, but this tool makes it more interesting and it has spell check, which is even better with my students!
In an online environment students can use this tool to create stories about any topic. The illustrations are already completed and therefore allows the focus to be more on the writing than the drawing. With elementary students, like mine, these stories can be works in progress. I showed this video from www.schooltube.com and allowed the students to take their creativity and topics wherever they wanted to. Teachers can also use this tool to allow students to give feedback to their classmates on their works.
The teacher must create an administrative account. From here the teacher can create class lists (one or multiple) with unique usernames and passwords. I suggest using the same password for every student, but the administrator can change the passwords if necessary. The teacher can create assignments or allow students creative license to create what they choose. The students then log on and create their own Storybird. They choose the theme or art then start creating their story.
I really think that this tool is great for inspiring students and gets them into writing by using art as inspiration. This tool can be used for creative works, like I said earlier, or it can be used for thematic units. It is a very user friendly site and saves automatically when the students are working.
Here are some examples of working products that my students have worked on (Please remember that these are not complete, but works in progress):
Have fun with Storybird!