Storybird: Artful Storytelling

By: Christine Hall & Charis Slusar

What is Storybird?

Storybird is a visual storytelling community. A global hub of readers, writers, and artists of all ages. Our idea: let anyone make gorgeous, art-inspired stories in seconds.

Why use Storybird?

  1. Artwork is visually stunning and accredit is established for all artists.
  2. Your finished products look awesome and professional!
  3. Students can embed their stories
  4. The artwork lends itself really nicely to stories
  5. Has lots of features for making assignments, grading and descriptive feedback for your learners.


Some ideas for classroom implementation:

  1. Theme related writing prompts
  2. Creating stories with beginning, middle, and end and linking those to images
  3. Could create a simile, and/or metaphor in relation to one art piece.
  4. Digital citizenship “mini” lesson on artist accreditation and plagiarizing online, but more specifically with art.


Storybird might be used as a tool to enhance your learning experience when teaching for a deeper understanding through the kinaesthetic and visual approach this resource brings. If I was to use this in my classroom I might use it for poetry. Maybe an intro lesson to creating poetry as it allows your students to be less afraid of creating a “good” poem because of the word and image perimeters. It also could be used more in depth as a way to publish or create a short story or picture book linking to literature and artsed curricular outcomes.

A Chance to Dream by Julia

Storybird links art to technology, literacy, creative writing, and digital citizenship through a simple concept!

Curricular Connections:

Outcome: CR3.2

View and respond to grade-appropriate visual and multimedia texts (including videos, cartoons, illustrations, diagrams, charts, maps, and posters) explaining reactions and connections as well as visual features that convey humour, emotion, and mood.


  1. Identify design, layout, and other features (e.g., colour, bold typeface, and sound effects) that help to understand grade-appropriate visual and multimedia texts (including First Nations and Métis resources).

  2. Describe perspectives or messages promoted by particular visual depictions in a film/video/DVD or magazine article.

  3. View and identify purpose for visual features used.

  4. Compare a variety of visual representations of the same story or tale (including contemporary and traditional First Nations and Métis stories and art) and compare ideas and points of view expressed in various media.

  5. Identify and discuss the key visual features such as colour, line, and size of an illustrator’s style and how they relate to print text and add to or supplement words.


Outcome: CC3.1

Compose and create a range of visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore: identity (e.g., Spreading My Wings) community (e.g., Helping Others) social responsibility (e.g., Communities Around the World) and make connections across areas of study.

  1. Use words, symbols, and other forms, including appropriate technology, to express understanding of topics, themes, and issues and make connections to learning in other areas of study.

  2. Communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly and, when appropriate, artistically.

  3. Create spoken, written, and other representations that include:

    • a main idea(s) with supporting details, explanations, and examples
    • a beginning that introduces the topic, a middle that is sequenced and connected to the topic, and an ending
    • appropriate use of language and conventions including conventional print.

Outcome: CC3.4


Write to communicate ideas, information, and experiences pertaining to a topic by creating easy-to-follow writing (including a short report, a procedure, a letter, a story, a short script, and a poem) with a clear purpose, correct paragraph structure, and interesting detail.


  1. Work through the stages of a writing process (e.g., pre-writing, drafting, revising selected draft material, sharing) and begin to write for extended periods of time.

  2. Select and use appropriate strategies (before, during, and after) to communicate meaning when writing.

Digital Citizenship

Digital Access- Everyone can participate in a classroom and global community through iPads or computers.

Digital Literacy- Learning more about technology in tandem with learning literacy. Students are searching and processes images with words to create a story.

Digital Security- Keeping ourselves safe on the internet by using websites that are safe. Using a password and using avatars instead of our actual faces.

Digital Communication- Students can publish and share their books with students and peoples all around the world.

Digital Etiquette- Storybird showcases appropriate images and words.

Digital Law- Storybird accredits each artist as well as provides an overview of other word by the artist. Storybird acknowledges and pays a portion of sales to artist.

The Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits:

  • Students can respond to artwork and be focused on their writing in response rather than being worried about creating the image.

  • Accredits the artist- search and learning about the artist

  • Buy artwork off of the website

  • Blog attached where people share their art

  • Read other people’s stories

  • Enter into storybird competitions

  • Collaborate with other classrooms throughout the world.

  • Parents can log in to see students progress, assignments and work.

  • Purchase students work

  • Schools receive 30% off sales


Drawbacks:

  • Students can use their own artwork digitally on this platform, they can only respond to others.

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SAMR Model

Using the SAMR model, Storybird redesigns the process or writing and is considered a modification to technological use. The modification of this tool will transform your students understanding of reading and writing as they create picture books and poetry that will be published online and accessible to a larger audience.