6 Great Digital storytelling tools in the primary classroom
Digital storytelling tools are the way of the future for students as they learn 21st century skills and learn important writing skills. Digital storytelling is using technology to digitally tell a story. While there are many free digital storytelling tools online, there are a few that stand out as beneficial for primary students. Using these free apps and tools, students can easily use digital storytelling in the classroom. These apps are my top choices because they are simple, easy to use, and fun. I use them often in my classroom and have found them successful. Digital storytelling allows students to practice their story telling skills, organizing their writing, and increasing important 21st century skills. Our students need to develop 21st century skills to compete and work in the future and be prepared for future careers. These are the 6 great digital storytelling tools.
6 Great Digital Storytelling Tools
- Storybird– Storybird is a website-based tool that allow students to create stories. Illustrations are already provided in the program. Students can use the illustrations and focus on their story because the digital storytelling tool takes out the time for artwork. Work can be saved and shared with others.
- Toontastic– Toontastic allows students to customize their own story using different setting and characters. Students can tell their story, add animation with their characters, change setting, and add transitions and music. I love this app because it explains the different elements to a story. The program explains each section of the story telling process before students record. This is a very educational and valuable tool for enrichment 1st graders or end of year 1st graders and 2nd grade students. I use it to differentiate learning in all primary grades. Students do not need to complete all stages but it has been a teachable moment to have the students hear the information about the different sections. This helps build a background knowledge for upcoming ELA concepts because students the language daily.
- Puppet Pals– Puppet Pals is a more basic digital storytelling app. This app is perfect for all ages. Students choose their characters and backdrop on the stage. Then they can move their characters and record their voice. The app includes historical characters which can link digital storytelling tool in social studies and history fields. Therefore, this would be a great project to increase knowledge in additional content areas.
- Showme Interactive Whiteboard/ Explain everything (how to writing)– Showme interactive whiteboard and explain everything are two screen casting tools that allow students to show their understanding and demonstrate their knowledge. Students can record their actions, drawings, and voice. This would be a great tool for how-to writing or opinion writing because it is simple and allows students to act out their steps.
- Zooburst– I just found this great tool! This tool allows students to create 3D books online. You can upload artwork to use or use the artwork in the program. I have not used this tool too much but I am excited to try it soon because it seems very engaging for students.
- Adobe Spark Video– This tools allows students to create slides with 30 seconds worth of audio. Students can focus on their story because they can only record 30 seconds at a time. Also, it can be differentiated for all learners and abilities. Students can add images from Flicker within the tool to help enhance their story. This is a great tool for How-to writing and digital storytelling. An example is below for the lesson plan. Here is an example for how-to writing. I used this as an example in my own classroom.
Digital Storytelling Lesson
To show how easy it is to use digital storytelling in the classroom, I have included my lesson plan and explanation video for a digital storytelling project. Digitial Story Lesson Plan. Student are excited to digitally tell a story because it is a fun way to be a storyteller. I love the apps because students are excited for the writing center.
I am excited for you to try digital storytelling tools in the classroom because you will see your students grow as they explore writing in a 21st century way!