In ESL classes, it is always important to find new ways to manage students’ attention. Reading comprehensions on old stories that all students have already read will definitely not do the job if you really want to keep them interested. Why not create your own stories? With StoryBird, it is now possible!
First, what is StoryBird? It is a simple online tool that allows you to create your own stories using pictures based on different themes. StoryBird provides the creators an impressive amount of themes in which all image are different and very beautiful as they are created by real artists. As seen in this blog, StoryBird can be used to have students write stories in team and even to create a story with the whole class as there is the possibility to share all stories privately or publicly. As StoryBirds can be printed, it is possible to print a create created by the teacher in order to do different exercises with the story such as reading comprehension, finish the story, etc.
StoryBird can be very efficient to get everybody involved as students are the creators of their own stories so they can choose a topic they like. Even with older students who may seem uninterested to write stories, Rosa Amelia provides a great idea of exercise in which students have to write stories for younger kids.
Furthermore, StoryBird is extremely easy to use. For example, when placing a picture in the page, the image has a few specific places that it can be placed so there is no long page formatting to do in order to make the pages clear. To make it even easier, when choosing a theme, a number of images are made available to facilitate the choice of images. However, this can quickly become a negative aspect of the website as we are sometimes too limited in our choice of images when creating a story.
I think StoryBird is a very interesting tool as it gives the opportunity to students as well as teachers to create their own stories. In the case of students, stories can be invented and serve as an evaluation for writing competencies. For teachers, StoryBird can be used to invent new stories with which they can do exercises instead of using old stories.
Here’s a short tutorial to introduce you to this online tool.