Friday, July 6, 2012

Write Stories in French with Storybird!

Storybird is an amazing tool that I blogged about earlier this year when I was using it with my Grade 6 French Immersion students.  It is an art-inspired story-writing tool that can be great for students who have a difficult time getting started with writing.

Recently, Storybird has made some changes to its site.  Now children under the age of 13 can create their own Storybird accounts.  The child would need to provide a parent's e-mail address to complete the sign-up process.  Please view my brief tutorial below for further details:


Your child should not make their Storybirds public; otherwise, the stories are taken down from the site if they are in any language other than English. To keep it private, your child should select "Menu" once finished with writing his/her story and select "Publish this Storybird":

When scrolling down the page, there is an option to make the Storybird public or private.  Select "Private".  The story can then be published and shared using a link to it.

Storybird Suggestions for Students:

1) Focus on writing with a particular verb tense;  for example, write a story mainly in the imparfait tense using as many different verbs as possible (j'allais, il regardait)

2)  Use a vocabulary set to write a story around a particular theme.  Below is an example of a story where the focus is on weather expressions:

Students can also head over to the Language Guide site for inspiration on other vocabulary themes they can choose from.

3)  Have child familiarize him/herself with how to use French accents on the keyboard so that they can use them in their Storybirds.  Here is a good article from About French that explains how to locate French accents on various types of keyboards.  I would strongly encourage them to use accents in their stories as a way of practicing correct writing of words in French. 

4)  For some Storybird inspirations, have your child visit the teacher-created MFL Storybirds Wikispace and browse through French Storybirds.