During yesterday’s session we were introduced to two online storytelling tools-Storybird and StoryJumper. After a quick demonstration of both we were asked to work in small groups to create a classroom resource aimed at a particular Key Stage. My group chose to use StoryJumper to create a bright and colourful alphabet book for use with lower Key Stage One children. Once we got to grips with the tool it was really easy to use; we began by choosing appropriate images (of phonically regular words) to match each letter of the alphabet and placing them in the props sections of the tool. We really struggled to find suitable images to represent a few letters- we found u, x and y to be particularly tricky! However as StoryJumper allows you to both import clipart and photos and insert images from the Internet into your storybook this issue was soon rectified. Once we had collected all 26 images we simply inserted an image accompanied by its corresponding letter onto each page to create our alphabet book (please click on the image to access the alphabet book).
This type of classroom resource could be used with Reception children to support phonics teaching as it allows children to recognise and learn the individual letters and sounds of the alphabet. However the StoryJumper tool could also easily be used to create simple storybooks or individual alphabet books personalised for each child within a class.
I feel that working together in small groups this week was really beneficial as it allowed us to share ideas amongst ourselves. This was helpful as I often find that the most difficult part of creating a resource is coming up with the initial idea! However although it was great to work as a group, I don’t think that it necessarily allowed us to create our resource any quicker than we would have done if we had worked individually as only one person was able to actually work at creating the resource at any one time. Nevertheless if this type of collaborative activity took place in the classroom it would provide a great opportunity for the development of speaking and listening skills as well as social skills such as team work.
After the session I decided to have a quick look at Storybird as I hadn’t spent much time exploring this tool within our lesson. Much like StoryJumper, Storybird allows you to create, view and share short stories and combine them with artwork. I think that this tool could be used in a variety of ways in the classroom- as a teacher you could create your own short story designed to address a specific curriculum area or theme such as repetition or rhyme or you could allow children to create their own stories to showcase their learning. Below I have done a quick comparison of the two tools:
Pros of StoryJumper
- You are able to choose appropriate images to suit your story.
- You can import clip art images and photos to really personalise your story
- You can place text anywhere on the page
- Child friendly and simple to use
Cons of StoryJumper
- Limited range of images
- You cannot embed your stories into other websites or blogs etc
Pros of Storybird
- Beautiful artwork and images
- You can embed stories into other websites
- Lots of example stories to give you ideas
- Child friendly and simple to use
Cons of Storybird
- Artwork does not always fit your story
- You cannot place text in the centre of your flip story book
Overall the StoryJumper and Storybird storytelling tools both get two thumbs up from me!
Bye for now…