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Sites that Encourage Writing

Page history last edited by alex.dalstrom.smith@gmail.com 13 years, 8 months ago

General idea of the intro: Writing is more than an integral part of literacy ... it is a means of reinforcing reading concepts because kids get engaged in creating the visuals. It is also a wonderful way to ignite creativity ...


The Book Chook writes a regular feature that offers creative ways to engage kids in writing and learning to write. You'll find tips for things you can do at home, as well as reviews of online products she's road-tested. Many of those resources are listed here.


Autobiograstrip - Offers artwork and templates, as well as writing tips, to encourage young kids to express themselves in comic strip form.  Read the The Book Chook review


Crayola Literacy Resources - Crayola offers resources that encourage kids to write - there are printable pages like My Diary, and Rhyming Mini Book, plus a slew of lesson plans around book reports, storytelling and the craft of writing.


Domo Animate - Create your own animations using this easy to use editor.  Choose from a variety of backgrounds, characters, effects, music, and objects.  See the The Book Chook review.


Dr. Seuss Story Maker - Choose characters, backgrounds, music, and what characters say using Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!


Game Station on RIF's Reading Planet has writing and reading activities kids will enjoy. 


Glogster  - On this site you can use text, images and sound to express yourself by creating your own Glog. Glogster Edu is a special part of Glogster that's safer for students to use. Here's the Book Chook's Review.


Grammar Girl - Mignon Fogarty offers help with her "quick and dirty tips" for solving writing problems like grammar, capitalization, etc. You can listen to podcasts and follow along with a transcript, too.


Little Bird Tales - This is a website that encourages kids to create their own digital books. Free for 90 day trial.  Here is the Book Chook review 


MakeBeliefsComix - On this site, students choose characters, emotions, thought or talk balloons, dialogue and story lines.Prompts for dialogue and story structure guide the student writers along the way. There is also a teacher resources section provides 21 ways to use the comics in class. Read the Book Chook Review for more information.


Myths and Legends - A site for kids where you can find out about existing myths and legends, create your own with pictures, sounds and words, or read some created by other children. See the Book Chook's Review


National Geographic Kids - Photo Fill-ins and Cartoons are two places on the National Geographic Kids website that encourage children to fill in captions by typing in a text box. If you're looking for quick, colourful and humorous activities to encourage writing, these two could be the ones. 


National Writing Project 30 Ideas for Teaching Writing - The National Writing Project's 30 Ideas for Teaching Writing offers successful strategies contributed by experienced writing project teachers. Since NWP does not promote a single approach to teaching writing, readers will benefit from a variety of eclectic, classroom-tested techniques.


Notaland  - (From the site) Nota has been used for educational purpose as an online collaboration tool that allows students and educators to instantly create and share virtually any kind of document -- presentations, notebooks, reports , artwork -- anything. Nota makes every kind of document and media work together -- easily, seamlessly and instantly. Users can integrate material from an almost endless and expanding list of sources:images, YouTube clips, clip art, text -- anything. There’s no software to purchase or install, and no limit to what you can express using Nota. And because Nota’s online, collaborative and real-time, student reactions, responses and ideas can be instantly integrated into the document. Here's the Book Chook Review of this product.


PBSKIDS Reading Activity Calender - This calender from PBSKIDS offers parents and teachers great ideas for literacy activities for their kids.  Each day - a new idea!


PhotoPeach - (From Nota site) Photopeach is a social slideshow service that allows users to create a custom flash slideshow in four steps. Users can pick photos from their computer or from facebook, picasa, and flickr, then drag and drop to arrange them. Next, they can title the slideshow and choose background music from our default selections or by youtube search (we place a small youtube player to get the sound). Once they enter the slideshow it will play automatically, and users can leave comments on each photo (it auto-pauses). These comments can be related to a zoom on a part of the photo, and sound-effect smiley faces can also be added. All shows are private by default, but we provide a complex link so anyone it is shared with can view that particular show without registration. See the Book Chook's review.


PicLits - PIC-LITS is a great way to encourage your child to try writing some poetry. Here is the Book Chook review. 


Stories from Old Japan - Interactive animation system that allows you to create stories about Old Japan using backgrounds and characters from Pictures of the Floating World.


Storybird - (from the site) Storybirds are short, visual stories that you make with family and friends to share and (soon) print. Collaborative storytelling for families and friends. Check out the Book Chook's review.


StoryJumper -  is another exciting webspace where children can write stories for an authentic audience. (Book Chook's review)


The Story Starter Jr. - Generates random sentences to be used as story starters to help kids begin the writing process.


ToonDooSpaces - Excellent site for parents and teachers who want to encourage creative writing and storytelling among children.  Allows you to easily create original cartoons or recreate well-known favorites.  See the The Book Chook's review.


Writecomics - Create your own comic strip choosing between a character and background options, and then insert your own, unique dialogue.


Xtranormal - This site allows you to create your own stories and movies.  Choose your own characters, actions, sounds, and backgrounds to make your script come alive!  (The Book Chook review)



Comments (9)

Terry Doherty said

at 8:56 am on May 2, 2009


my goal is to have a short paragraph that describes what we are doing with the/each page and then using list formats. I'd like to make this a little 'fancier' than the other kidlit blogs and include annotations Like this

Book Chook Review - The BookChook writes a regular feature that offers creative ways to engage kids in writing and learning to write. You'll find tips for things you can do at home, as well as reviews of online products she's road-tested.

Susan Stephenson said

at 3:11 am on May 3, 2009

Okay. Just noticed this comment. I will work towards that. I've been just putting links owing to time constraints. Your way will mean less links, but more quality of information.

Terry Doherty said

at 10:32 am on May 3, 2009

It can be both (links only & blurbs) ... even if there's no time to add the blurb today (or cut/paste the description from the site), there may be time another day.

You may see something that looks great now, but (a) it could disappear like LookyBook); or (b) on second look not be as good as you thought .... it builds in some thinking/studying time.

Susan Stephenson said

at 7:34 pm on May 6, 2009

Oh now that can work. Often I may just think it looks good at first glance but need to re-visit. And if it's okay to cut/paste the site's own words - that can save me a lot of time.

Terry Doherty said

at 11:55 am on May 7, 2009

OMG yes .. we will have a disclaimer on the home page that we are providing these as potential tools, we are neither endorsing or promoting products, merely making information available!

Susan Stephenson said

at 3:19 am on May 25, 2009

Terry, to clarify - up above, where I wrote Book Chook Review - that was because at one stage, I thought you said I should do a short description and link to my own blog's review. So now I'm looking where you have "Book Chook Review" in your comment at the top and wondering if you just plucked those three words as an example, or if you don't actually want me to link to my reviews?

Terry Doherty said

at 10:28 am on May 25, 2009

Mea culpa ... I don't think I was clear. I want to have an intro that talks about how writing fits in and why its important, but I also want to credit the person who is discovering and testing the sites. What I'd like to do is go beyond the site's capabilities to connecting it with an audience. For example, "MakeBeliefComix can help new readers (short sentences) and sophisticated storytellers alike. This can be a visual journal that allows kids to practice sightwords."

Terry Doherty said

at 10:30 am on May 25, 2009

Oh! And I do want the links to your reviews ... see how I moved some of them.

Susan Stephenson said

at 11:23 pm on May 25, 2009

Okay, I made tiny changes. I don't understand what the highlighted part means.

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