As I have mentioned in the earlier post, I will be writing about how to use StoryBird. The HOW entry looks at how to create a story.
For this online storymaker application, you need to sign-up. It is free. Two options for you to choose from:the regular account or the kid account or the teacher account. I choose the TEACHER account to see what the application can offer for teaching.
As I log in as the teacher account, there are 3 items (see PIC 01) :
GETTING STARTED, ASSIGNMENTS, CLASS LIBRARY
The interesting items which the teacher can use are (1) adding students in her/his community for projects that focuses on storymaking skill. Here the teacher adds the students. (2) assignments-the teacher can create specific assignment. Assignments here not only focus on creating story but collaborating in designing the story, or commenting on the story or even predicting the story. The latter two activities are possible because there is a feature (See PIC02) in this application which allows the reader to comment on the story.
Okay, now let us start creating the story. STORYBIRD provides a set of amazing artsy pictures. Amazing artsy pictures which I felt is sufficient to whet the students’ imaginative appetites. You can choose from the art images or themes (See PIC03).
In my opinion, if a teacher is starting to introduce the application to the students, then the option of asking them to select from art images to start creating will be a better choice. Making the students excited and hooked on the application will be first thing to do. Once the students get the hang of using the tool, and for a more advance activity, then the teacher can include the option of exploring themes.
First, let me choose the art for my story. I pick the Fairy art set (See PIC04). Then you will be brought to this page. Click START A STORYBIRD to begin your storytelling (See PIC05).
Now, this page will appear (See PIC06). Your work station for creating the story. The images on both left and right are for me to choose to create the story. The basic process of creating the story will be ADD PAGE, REMOVE PAGE, and you can even rearrange the CREATED PAGES.
The e-storybook also includes a COVER (See PIC07) which the creator needs to add a title, and even change the author’s name. To be able to change the author’s name provides a sense of identity to the story-teller. Imagine your student coming up with their pen names. You can also change the colour for the cover. Colour palette depends on the chosen image for the cover.
I will choose an image to start my story. Let me start by selecting an image for my first page. All you need to do is to drag the image to the page. Before placing the image, hover the image around the page to decide where you want to put your text. BOTTOM, LEFT, RIGHT or TOP (See PIC08).
Of course, if the issue of writer’s block occur, there is always SAVE and CLOSE option under the MENU ICON. The draft will be saved and you can choose to continue later.
The challenge for this activity is to create a story with just that amount of pictures. Hence, it pushes the students’ creativity and imagination to create an awesome story with that “limited” resource. By the way, never underestimate your students.
Issues such as:
(1)What image is suitable to represent the flow of the story.
(2)How much description to add because [A] if the texts are too lengthy, it can be a put off to the reader or [B] if it the texts are too few, it can be turn off because the parts of the story is incomplete.
can be used as part of the class activities. The students will learn how to manage such problems when it comes to story-telling.
As I an educator from Malaysia, teachers who teach Bahasa Malaysia, and English language can use this tool for composition writing activity. It is not only for the Primary School students but I believe secondary school students can benefit as well. As for Chinese language, the STORYBIRD team is working on it (See PIC 09).
Do have fun trying out STORYBIRD.
Previously created 2 stories.
By the way, here is another complete story. My third.