Two Kindergarten classes just finished a writing project using Storybird. Storybird allows a user to select illustrations for a story, sequence them, and add text to create a book. Any time we plan a project like this, we consider what the barriers are to artistic expression. For Kindergarten, some of the barriers included:
- limited knowledge of technology use due to lack of technology in that grade
- the ability to read the text of stories that could be mentor texts
- writing the story vs. telling the story orally
To lower the barriers, the teachers and I planned a series of lessons and opportunities to support the students.
Lesson 1: Spend time revisiting the 3 ways to read a story: read the words, read the pictures, retell. Focus on reading the pictures by looking at a wordless book together.
In between lessons: In class, students practiced telling stories from wordless books in small groups, alone, and at centers.
Lesson 2: Look at a sequence of 3 pictures and think about a beginning, middle, and end for those pictures.
Lesson 3 (or part of lesson 2): Look at Storybird. Choose a topic of pictures, like pumpkins, and choose 3 pictures to sequence that could be the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Write the story together as a class with time to pair share ideas.
Lesson 4: In small groups with adult support, students created a group Storybird project. We made as many groups as we had adults. For one class this was 4 groups and for the other it was 5 groups. The adult’s role was to facilitate the conversation of the students and make sure each voice was heard in the group. The adult also typed the story for the students as they told the story. The students were supposed to show the adult what to click on at each step of the project.
In between lesson: One group at a time came to the library and used Screencastomatic to record the audio of their story. If students had difficulty reading the words, we whispered the words to them and they repeated them. Videos were uploaded to Youtube.
Lesson 5: The whole class came to the library for a premiere of their audio ebooks!
You can enjoy all of their books here!