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.
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.
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 theBook 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.
A Guide to the Types of Essays – Not only do you learn about the types of writing, the site offers how-to’s on creating that type of essay.
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.
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.
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.