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Storybird.com - For Aspiring Writers and Avid Readers
Teachers, students, artists and writers will all find something to love about Storybird, a literary site which encourages collaboration and sharing of original stories. Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print.
Storybird’s beautiful, colorful homepage
New users will get a great overview by investing five minutes in the Quick Tour, which can be reached under the “Tour” tab on the home page. The Quick Tour features basic information about reading and creating Storybirds, which is simply an original, art-inspired story.
The Quick Tour is a great way to get acquainted with the site
Storybird has many terrific features, but its best feature is the support it provides writers through its use of art to inspire story. Anyone who’s ever wanted to write an original story, but didn’t know how to begin will find it easy to manage the process.
Writers can choose from three possible approaches to composing their stories. The first option, “a”, using artwork as inspiration, allows the writer to select from a collection of original images. The writer then develops a story around those images.
Unique images spark stories
If a writer already has a theme or idea in mind, option “b” will bring you to collections of images, which have been assigned tags. Clicking the tag “Stripes” results in several possibilities.
Themed collections can help writers narrow down ideas.
The last option, “c” for Challenges, revolves around a monthly theme. Writers can craft and submit their stories for evaluation, with winning entries available on the site for readers to enjoy.
Challenges are a great way to find ideas.
Once a Storybird is completed, it can be shared and enjoyed by readers. The site is brimming with original stories, to be read for enjoyment or as inspiration for writing. Just like writers have multiple possibilities for generating story ideas, readers will find stories organized in different ways, facilitating the process of choosing something to read. Storybirds about timely topics or interesting subjects may end up in the Featured section, while the New & Noted section includes recent standout stories.
It’s easy to find a Storybird to read.
Authors who’ve created multiple Storybirds may find themselves in the Featured Author section, and stories from past Challenge winners are also available.
Many writers have authored multiple stories.
Teachers can take their students through the above steps, using Storybird to engage students in literacy. The site offers several features to easily allow teachers to incorporate Storybirds into their curriculum. Issuing assignments, reviewing student work and grading finished products electronically will help teachers streamline the process. Teachers can develop tasks for students based on current classroom studies and themes.
Educators have many options for using the site.
When assigning grades, teachers can select from alpha or numeric options and award virtual “stickers” to students who put forth a good effort. Finished products can be embedded in class blogs.
The grading process is simplified.
Storybird has very stringent Community Guidelines, not to minimize creativity, but to help everyone enjoy the site. But more importantly, its guidelines, which include policies on plagiarism and appropriate language, are meant to ensure safety and enjoyment for the many children who benefit from everything the site offers readers and writers. Storybird does an excellent job of integrating technology, art and literacy, with beautiful results.
September 21, 2012 by Tracy Derrell
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